Food Tradition

The Bartender That Knows Everyone’s Name

Murf’s “favors” sometimes register as tough love, especially when he’s trying to protect students from recklessness. “When kids come in on their 21st birthdays asking for shots, I don’t do it. I’ll make them a drink, but I won’t pour them shots.” In Murf’s view, shots are for “getting stupid,” and he won’t allow Notre Dame students to get stupid on his watch.

Mike values Murf’s egalitarian approach to service. “I’ve been in here at nights when there are trustees, and I’ve thought, ‘Well, we’re gonna take a backseat.’ Not the case at all,” he says, shaking his head. “Not the case at all. Murf has made me and all my ministry friends feel like a part of Notre Dame. He would treat us exactly the way he’d treat a trustee.” He handles guests, Mike says, as “a virtuoso handles the different sections of an orchestra.”

Source: Murf // News // Notre Dame Magazine // University of Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Magazine, the alumni magazine, has this lovely story about Murf, the long-time bartender at the bar inside Morris Inn, Notre Dame’s on-campus hotel.

I grew up watching Cheers and always enjoyed the idea of communal drinking establishments—public houses, beer halls, and the like—places that truly are that “third place” separate from home and work where you socialize, intentionally with friends and randomly with people present.

Notre Dame is a special place because of people like Murf who keep the human side of the institution front-and-center.


Serious Decisions

A Tough Choice
A Tough Choice

Someone thought long and hard about their priorities over the next couple of days!


There Are Almost No Black People Brewing Craft Beer. Here’s Why.

A deep dive into the unbearable whiteness of brewing.

Source: There Are Almost No Black People Brewing Craft Beer. Here’s Why.

An interesting read on an aspect of craft beer that I hadn’t thought much about previously. I hadn’t read about the racial undertones of Prohibition before either.

h/t Derek Springer for sending over the link.

Food Photoblog

Thanksgiving Dinner

The “Picture of the Week” for this week is the Thanksgiving spread at my in-laws house.

Gobble Gobble. 🍗🦃
Gobble Gobble. 🍗🦃


I had heard whispers and mutterings here and there about this mythical city. Rumors said that wort rains down from the sky, collected in gilded basins, brewed in copper kettles, then bottle-conditioned at 60°F, day and night without the need for climate control. In this city, the tap lines are always clean, a brew is never musty, and there’s never a last call.

Well, I still haven’t come across that city during my travels, but I found one that isn’t terribly far off.

I hadn’t paid much attention to Asheville, NC, before a few weeks ago, but after a weekend there for the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, color me impressed. Small compared to any town I’ve traveled to for a conference with 83,000 residents, the beer scene is top-notch and the downtown action compared with any of the big dogs—even coming from Austin’s fabled Sixth Street.

It is easy to see why Asheville has been named Beer City USA. With 21 breweries (per Asheville’s tourism site, it very well might be more, frankly) putting it as the most breweries per capita, there seems to be a brewery every other block of every strip—from the small microbreweries to big dogs New Belgium building a new facility, Oskar Blues opening a second in nearby Brevard, and Sierra Nevada opening the Basilica of Beer in the last year.

In all honesty, my uninformed opinion on North Carolina wasn’t too great. What’s there? Duke, UNC for colleges. Some research stuff happening in the Triangle, but not actually sure what. Seeing a bit more of the personality in Raleigh for a day, then Asheville for the weekend, I appreciate North Carolina quite a bit more.

Offsite Pieces

Sierra Nevada Mills River


Sierra Nevada’s new operations in Mill River, NC is a basilica of brewing. A must-visit if you’re anywhere near the area.

Last weekend, I was in Asheville, NC for the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference. The weekend was a great time of talking shop, networking, developing skills, and tasting beer. A particular highlight of the weekend was visiting the Sierra Nevada brewery. It was incredible. Visit the 365 Brew post for details.
Sierra Nevada Mills River | 365 Brew