I started out with my first bar probably the same way most beer enthusiasts do. We build the bar and then stock it full of beer. Thatís all there is to it.
Thatís what we used to think. But now, weíre more experienced. We know that thereís more to it than that. You have to be ready for any contingency or your bar will remain in the amateur status.
Most amateurs would think that if they have beer in cans or bottles, then they donít need glasses. How wrong they would be. You need glasses for the occasional finicky drinker. There are plenty of beer enthusiasts out there who for one reason or another, have to have their beer in a glass. I have watched some bartenders try to clean the top of the beer can or bottle and make a second offer to be rejected because beer tastes better in a glass, beer is healthier in a glass and a plethora of other reasons why they need their beer to be in a glass.
Ice Tongs and Scoopers
Once again, most amateurs would think that having an ice chest is good enough. And they would again be wrong. This is again for the finicky drinker. Donít even think about putting your hand in the ice chest to grab some ice to make a drink. A health conscious nut would just about flip. An ice scooper satisfies most people because at least your hand is not connected to the ice. But, even some finicky drinkers have a problem with that. Tongs keep your hands from even going in the ice in the first place.
While youíre already at it, you might as well go the extra mile and grab yourself a nice looking ice bucket. That way, you can keep the ice chest out of sight and out of mind. When you have a bucket full of ice sitting on top of the bar and you are making drinks by placing a few cubes of ice at a time into a glass with a thong, no one will even care about where the ice came from in the first place.
Itís the sign of the absolute expert when you have a cocktail shaker in your bar. Get ready for a hundred requests. But, itís fun. Pour your ingredients in the shaker over the ice, then shake them up until the drink is ready to pour into the glass. The strainer keeps the ice from pouring through, so your patrons can enjoy the great drinks youíve learned how to make.
Who wants to keep getting up from their seat to pour each beer they drink? Well, I donít mind and Iím sure quite a few other people donít either. But, a beer pitcher is great for those moments when getting up from what youíre doing is too much of a hassle. Maybe you have a card game going or the game is on the television. Sit back and relax. Your beer is in the pitcher on the table in front of you.
I donít just mean beer bottle openers. I mean bottle openers of all kinds. Someone brings in a bottle of wine, have a cork screw ready. Donít get out a screw and a pair of pliers like Iíve had to do in the past when I couldnít find my cork screw. Make yourself look good!
Of course, there are plenty of other things you can add to your homebar like juicers, pairing knives, crushers, straws, jiggers and mixers. But if you have at least what I just listed, you are above the amateur and youíre going for full blown enthusiast. Add what you want to your bar after that, it will only make you look better.