Mug Shots

It’s business before beer, unfortunately

Last week, my editor reminded me that it was my turn to shoot Mugs, but I’ve been so busy that quality writing time has diminished.

Worse yet, things have been too hectic to drink beer the way I’d prefer, which is slowly and thoughtfully, nuzzling the hoppy nuances, caressing the malty curves and endeavoring to make barroom time stop, permitting the moment to go when and where it will. Instead, there’s beer appreciation by stopwatch, commuter-style, often with just enough time to pound back a couple progressive pints at the stand-up counter adjacent to the tram stop before leaping aboard for the next appointment.

That’s not drinking. It’s swallowing.

Two years ago, we decided to expand the New Albanian Brewing Company by establishing a second, larger brewery (and a smaller taproom/brasserie) in downtown New Albany. A minor global financial crisis intervened, delaying matters somewhat. Now, with the plan defined, redefined and altered a final time, a financing package is in place, and we’ll soon be ready.

Ironically, topics being debated in the run-up to the Bank Street Brewhouse aren’t always about beer. Several hours have been devoted to the merits of iced tea and diet cola. If people come for the food, how far can they be steered toward different non-alcoholic drinks, rather than appeased with what they expect?

In the end, even though iced tea is an aesthetic abomination, I compromised. There’ll be iced tea, but we won’t use a drip coffee maker to brew it, because it leads to the presence of bad coffee, which is just as objectionable as iced tea. We’d like to have an espresso machine — espresso and maybe latte only, with none of the foo-foo permitted. There’ll be craft sodas and a few cans of diet-something under the counter.

Me? Craft beer, please.

 Roger Baylor is co-owner of the New Albanian Brewing Co. in New Albany. Visit for more beer.