Stop 1: TIME
After a couple rounds of Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse
and shots of whiskey at Nodding Head, They headed to TIME.
Adam: I’m honored to be your only friend that’s free tonight. So, how’d you get into this industry initially?
Miles: I started out fixing broken boxes at the Muller warehouse in Hatfield.
Adam: Don’t they do hotdogs in Hatfield?
Miles: They do make hotdogs, right around the corner.
Adam: So, you chose the best possible job if you like hotdogs.
Miles: Absolutely. Bartending at night; eating as many hotdogs as possible and fixing broken beer boxes up in Muller is how I got my start. It was actually really cool because I was bartending at night, needing a day job right out of college and Muller Beverage was cool enough to let me fix all of their broken boxes. I was actually also sort of the all-sorts guy up there. I was painting their office one day and a very nice man named Joel came in and I was chatting him up; he asked me to interview for a sales job. I ended up getting into Muller’s Allied Sales Department for a few years and then, in the end of 2011, I started working with Brooklyn Brewery and here I am, man.
Adam: If you weren’t in the beer world, what would you be doing?
Miles: I’d probably be an amateur taxidermist, given my love of animals and interior design.
Adam: Lately, you’ve been infusing your music to go along with what you do as far as beer sales go. How has that been working out for you?
Miles: Music is my passion. Music is what helped initially expose me to craft beer. The first time I had craft beer was cruising around parking lots of Phish concerts in North Carolina and seeing Sierra Nevada around, and realizing that there’s beer out there that’s not Busch Light. It was the first thing available down in North Carolina where I grew up and it was more enjoyable than the watery beers I was drinking in mass. It always kinda went hand in hand with music with me. When I was in college down there, you couldn’t get any beers above…I think 5.5% was the cutoff. Then, when I was around 22, they relaxed those laws and started letting craft beer come around. All of the sudden, there was this influx of really awesome, tasty liquid. I think Victory was one of the first breweries to bring things along. It was just sort of this avalanche of really tasty stuff. It was a true life-changing thing.
Nick from Jose Pistola’s walks up.
Nick: Where do you get your Brooklyn Brewery sweaters made?
Miles: It’s a custom piece. I would hate to ever look like a slob. It’s actually part of the Garrett Oliver collection that I’m helping to curate. It is the Catholic school line of wool sweaters.
Adam: Brooklyn is the first Catholic brewery?
Miles: No, just in the diocese of Philadelphia. Brooklyn Brewery employees basically get free reign so we’re not wearing the same exact stuff all the time. Get your own gear and hook it up with the logo and rock what you rock instead of wearing a uniform.
Nick: Why is every shirt that comes into our bar too big for Adam and myself?
Adam: We are not an extra-large, I’m sorry.
Miles: You guys are just waffie man. There is no room for physical fitness in the beer industry.
Adam: I have like seven blankets, and they’re actually just shirts from Miller Lite.
Dan Conway (Left Hand Brewery), Christina
Tessaro and Rocco Renzetti (managers of Khyber Pass Pub) are spotted outside...
Adam: Before they get in here, what’s your favorite color?
Adam: Favorite bar?
Miles: Whatever bar I’m drinking at, at the time.
Adam: Favorite album?
Miles: Widespread Panic “’Til the Medicine Takes.”
Adam: Favorite beer rep that’s not you?
Miles: Oh boy, oh God (pause)….Andrew Maxson, our Chicago Brooklyn Brewery rep. That guy is aces all day long.
Adam: Funny you say that, because I fucking hate that dude. Hate him with a passion.
Miles: You obviously don’t know him like I do, because that dude is awesome.
Adam: I still fucking hate him.
*note: Adam has no clue who Andrew Maxson is.
Christina, Rocco and Conway walk in, leading to lengthy discussions on epic selfies, last night’s happenings, and a bunch of nonsense. They all head out to Broad Street to take stereotypical Philadelphia engagement photos and then off to the next bar.
Stop 2: Varga Bar
Miles: Another lightning round?
Adam: What’s your favorite band?
Miles: Widespread Panic.
Adam: Favorite Movie?
Miles: Point Break.
Adam: Childhood hero and why?
Miles: Oh man…this is so cheesy. Roger Bannister. First dude to break the 4 minute mile. Complete badass in his personal life and still just absolutely crushed it. He balanced a fun lifestyle, while actually maintaining personal wellness and fitness and being an actual healthy, productive member of society, while still just embracing having a great time, all the time. Classic badass.
Adam’s girlfriend, Susanna Satten, joins the group.
Adam: Do you have any questions you want to ask Miles?
Miles: Anything is fair game. Err on the side of caution, heaven forbid my mother reads this.
Susanna: So, if you couldn’t be in the beer industry, what would you do?
Miles: I don’t know. That’s a really good question. Well, I’ll tell you my most passionate hobby is playing music, which would be absolutely amazing.
Adam: He’s an avid gardener.
Miles: Big gardener. Maybe I’d open up a little farm. I’m a huge fan of small, agricultural things. I don’t know if I want to be a full-blown farmer, driving tractors and working the field all day, but I would definitely embrace being a part of some farm co-op. That seems to be a really cool side of the culinary world to be involved in. Maybe I’d get into cooking because I love being an amateur chef at home and cooking up things that are in my own world creatively and that I think people would enjoy. I love the idea of what’s coming from the beer, wine and food industry, helping to enhance people’s good times and what they want to do in their time off from whatever their daily grind is. Finding ways to improve people’s down-time and create a happiness that people have in their recreational time.
Susanna: You make me a happier person hanging out with you.
Moving to the bar to talk to bar manager and
unintentional column regular Rich Colli.
Miles: Rapid fire is the theme. Lightning round.
Rich: I totally forgot you were doing this when you asked me to prepare questions, so I just wrote down trivia questions.
Christina: Miles, what? Do you need more info? What’s it like working for a James Beard Award winner?
Rich: No one gives a shit about that. What’s your favorite whiskey?
Miles: Old Powers.
Rich: Seriously, who would say anything different?
Miles: In Philadelphia, nobody. Rich, lighting round…hit me! Come on…
Rich: Shit, now you gotta give me a minute to
Miles: Let’s talk a little bit about the beer industry.
Rich: I’m always curious about reps. Bars are the same, we want more business than everyone else but we also want everyone else to have as much business as us. We want everyone to be doing well, but there are only so many lines in Philadelphia. Everyone who is ever going to be interviewed in this article is good at balancing how to get the line and how to treat your fellow beer reps.
Miles: It’s a balance between competition and camaraderie. So, you’re talking about who am I OK with replacing and who am I not? It’s really not necessarily about that because a lot of the places that are absolutely the best craft beer bars, they constantly have a rotation. They have a new beer for everybody. They organize their taps stylistically. If I want to find my place in that pale ale line and they have a pale ale that rotates, I just let them know that I have a really quality product that fits that line if they ever want to add it into that rotation, and let them know that there are other options. I’m just saying, when you find a slot in that program, entertain Brooklyn as an option. I’m not saying, ‘Hey, take off this tap and put my beer on,’ as much as I’m saying, ‘Hey man, this is what I have that is complementary to what you’re trying to do. You make your decision, but let me educate you and tell you what’s up.’
Miles and Rocco argue beer politics in Washington D.C. for a while, leading to….
Rocco: What other brewery do you think would be up to the task of taking on you and Garrett Oliver in a fist fight?
Miles: Two on two?
Rocco: Yes. Four men enter. Two men leave.
Miles: Where does the fight happen?
Rocco: It’s different every year, like the Super Bowl. No, it happens at Toronado.
Miles: It’s a brewery vs. brewery boxing match?
Rocco: Right, but it’s only two guys and it has to be a rep and a brewer.
Adam: Who would your ideal opponent be?
Miles: Is the ideal opponent the one I’m going to win against, or the guy who will have the most equal footing?
Rocco: The one with the most comedic effect.
Miles: I’m going to put Frank Rio and Mitch Albach (Yards) against me and Garrett Oliver and I’m going to give them the advantage of having their hometown crew around.
Rocco: Do you think Garrett Oliver will take off his blazer?
Miles: I think he’s going to have to, as a gentleman, not only take off his blazer but also roll his cuffs up? I think it immediately turns into a war of words, followed by a brief tussle, and a gentleman’s agreement where we realize we’ve reached an impasse.
stop 3: Growlers
Owner Jay Willard joins in.
Miles: Lightning round featuring Jay Willard, proprietor of Growlers Bar and proprietor of so many things in the world.
Jay: Alright Mr. Moser, are you ready? What is your favorite beer you are ashamed to admit to in public?
Miles: Miller High Life. Can I put an addendum on to that though? For the nostalgia…Busch Light bottles. Hometown favorite.
Jay: What is the most underrated bar in Philly?
Miles: Bridgid’s in Fairmount.
Jay: You have a long, hard day at work. No one’s buying Brooklyn Beer anymore because it sucks. Where do you go to drown your sorrows by yourself? What is your drunken-stupor bar?
Miles: I live in Fairmount, so you gotta know the day-to-day of Miles Moser to understand that. It’s probably that sneaky little North Star bar up there, where they don’t sell my beer, but they have half-price drafts at happy hour and really cheap chicken wings. I will go in there by myself and not talk to a single person in there.
Jay: What’s the worst beer that Brooklyn makes?
Miles: When you’re talking about an all-star lineup, you really got to try to find the weak performer. Worst is such a low end. The least-amazing beer we make…oh man, I’m gonna get fired for this one…
Jay: (interrupting)…Garrett, he’s drunk,
Miles: It’s probably our weisse beer, even though I think even that is a really solid beer and it’s only because, goddammit, it is tough to sell, and that’s the absolute truth.
Jay: OK, I’m done. If you need a job tomorrow, call me.
Adam: He’d be a great bar-back.
Jay: I’d put him in the kitchen, I don’t want
him out front. a