Brendan Hartranft :: Email
The first beer Brendan Hartranft ever tasted was
Genessee Cream Ale
at the tender age (or so he claims) of two years old.
The following is a timeline since that momentus occasion:
Age 2 and-a-half: Potty trained.
Age 7: Spends Sundays after church with brother
Greg, emptying ashtrays at the Lawndale VFW, Philly.
Age 11: Head onion-cutter at Fanti's Pizza in Lawndale.
Holds record of taking 12 hours to cut 100 pounds of onions. Also spills five gallons of clam chowder, ending his first day owing owner Lou Fantini $25.
Age 15: Drinks first “real beer”, Old Peculier (Theakston Brewery, Yorkshire, England). Says Brendan’s dad about the incident: “Did that idiot really think I wouldn’t miss 6 beers out of a case of 24? They’re world class beers!”
The first of many beer related blunders.
Age 17: Toils at Blue Ox Brau Haus, in Fox Chase,
under the stern eye of Walter Grund, Sr.
Age 18: Better-Beer-Advocate-in training. Leads double life,
working by day at Gravity Brewing Company (closed 1998) and by
night at the beer Mecca, The Foodery on 10th Street. Says about Gravity:
“Not the best beer in the world, but hey, I was 18, it was free.”
Age 19: Khyber, 2nd Street, Philly. Begins to hone skills as All Around Guy, establishing a rotating beer list of note and hosting beer festivals that get as much attention as his impression of Christopher Walken.
Age 21: Legal at last! Drinks first legal beer at Dock Street
in Center City (Eric Savage’s Bohemian Pilsner).
Age 21 (a few days later): Starts life at Nodding Head. Perfects roles as local
beer champion, restaurant manager and Go-To-Guy. Retires “The Walken”.
Age 29: Purchases bar at Memphis + Cumberland with partners Ken Correll
and Paula Decker. Opens Memphis Taproom to great acclaim.
Age 30+: Hell bent on the total insanity that comes from working with a spouse, opens multiple other restautants with wife/ business partner Leigh Maida.
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