A Most Competent Thane

vtweetLast night I finally got around to doing some footwork on the best beer in Salem project. I got off work, ran by the store, and then it was off to La Capitale to check out their beer selection. Upon arriving though I found out their bar closes at 9:30 on weeknights. I got a chance to talk with the bartender (can’t remember his name right now as last nights bar hopping washed it from my memory)  and discuss how he goes about choosing his taps. Overall the selection wasn’t Venti’s, but he does keep imports and some decent American beers on tap. In fact there was a saison that I wanted to try. Alas they were closed though so I figured it was time to start checking out other bars.

The next stop on my list was Browns Town where I was hoping to talk with whoever chooses their beers. On the way there though I passed Venti’s and figured I’d stop in for a pint before continuing. This was the undoing of my plan. Turns out Thane was bartending, and although we’ve met before I haven’t really had a chance to talk with him. I ordered a Russian River Damnation thinking this was going to be my one beer I had and Thane and I started chatting about beer. Next thing I knew it was last call and I’d added a pint of Collaborator Brown and Cascade Defroster to the pint of Damnation. Sadly I think drinking the Damnation first was a mistake. Damnation is a great beer and set the bar high for the other two, and despite their best efforts they failed to impress me.

Thane however did. It’s a rare thing to find a competent bartender (beer wise) in this state, let alone one who knows so much about beer. It was refreshing to talk with someone who shared some of my views on beer, brewers, and the like. He was also extremely helpful. We discussed what beers he could get in if he was so inclined, what beers he did have that were awaiting taps, and his selection process. However last call comes early on a Salem week night so I had to go.

By the time I left almost all bars in Salem were closing down, or closed. I’ve always thought Salems general last call of 11 is too early. Figuring the night was over I hopped on my bike and headed towards home. As I was passing  ƒ/stop though I saw their open sign was still in the window and cars were still in the parking lot. One thing I love about ƒ/stop is that as long as Kirks still hanging around the bars still open. Nothing like a good pint with good company to end the day and start the next.

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3 Responses to “A Most Competent Thane”

  1. Scott S says:

    What always amazes me about closing time in Salem is that it is usually the downtown stops that close so early. You head out to some of the dive bars on the outskirts i.e. Jakes and they are open until closer to 2! And sometimes you find the bartenders from the downtown bars out and about. It makes me wonder if there is some pressure on downtown bars to close early or if it is something else.

  2. Jim Parker says:

    Glad to see Thane getting some props. We worked together in Portland and he’s a helluva good guy. Looks like he has found his niche. (I just hope he has ditched the PBR shirt.)

  3. jbx says:

    One aspect; and, this is just conjecture is:

    Most bars do not want to be the last one open. The last refuse for the serious drinkers.

    Ya know, testosterone and alcohol is a powerful mixture; it could fuel rockets. Lots of potential destructive energy.

    In the 1960s-70s, one pharmacy in a city [Texas, S. Calif, Colo.] would remain open on the weekends to fill prescription for medical emergencies.

    Perhaps, bar in central Salem should do the same. Ie, be on a rota for late night closing; at least on the weekend.

    Take it up with your favorite bar keep.

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