Bar Shots with Doug Mace

Doug is The Beverage Journal's Bar Shots Column author as well as our Event Reporter.

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Douglas Mace

Douglas Mace

Doug is a graduate of Albright College with a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology as well as Sociology.  He is also a talented bartender/server and enjoys writing about the licensed beverage industry. 

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After attending college at The Art Institute of Philadelphia for video production and graphic design, Shaun Stewart then began the journey that eventually led him to Edinburgh and back. The trip had nothing to do with film, but everything to do with his creative direction.

Shaun started off around food and beverage and continues today to find ways to stay interested. He's worked up and down the I-95 corridor creating new cocktails and honing his skills. 

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Recent updates to Fell's Point have resulted in noted improvements in the landscape and overall atmosphere in one of Baltimore's oldest neighborhoods. With the variety of restaurants,  boutique shops, and historic buildings lining the streets, the neighborhood remains one of the most dominant attractions in the city, for tourism and economic development. And for good reason.

Shaped and founded by William Fell in 1730, the original municipality combined with Baltimore Town and Jones Town to form Baltimore City in 1797, forever solidifying the rich history of the neighborhood that still remains a crucial part of Baltimore City to this day.

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In a full biohazard suite, behind self-closing doors and working in potentially contaminated areas with some of the world's most deadly virus strains, Judy Neff found herself bored. But, leave it to beer to make life more interesting. 

Judy first moved to Baltimore to earn her PhD. at John's Hopkins in Microbiology, and a Post-Doctorate at the National Institute of Health studying influenza. After years working to help keep hospitals sterile and safe, she found a passion for the science behind brewing beer.

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Garret Hadel personifies perseverance and shows optimism and drive in the face of adversity. Two years removed from an injury that would encourage most to change jobs or industries, Garret consistently shows why every hurdle serves as a step toward future success.

After studying graphics and print communications, Garret began working at Jimmy's Famous Seafood in June of 2012. He started bartending at tailgate events for Ravens and Orioles games, as well as other tailgate events, and has continued to do so for over three years now.

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Most bartenders at Max's began their tenure over a decade ago, but not Tim Christofield. Although "Scooter" – as most people know him – recently started at Max's, he's no stranger to the beer world. Now, with a newfound home, he's taking the next step in his journey to becoming an industry influencer.

The obvious first question is how Scooter got his nickname, the story is simple and gives honest insight into the work ethic and passion he shows for his craft; he was quick. Quick to learn and quick to move … Tim scooted from table to table and was fast on his feet. The name fits for his next chapter as Scooter tries to continue "scooting" people over to learn and do more in the beer world. 

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Posted by on in October 2017 Editions

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Wolfenbüttel, Germany, once called Wulferisbuttle, claims home to one of the world's most famous spirits, Jägermeister. While most everyone in America has known its name since the 1970's, hardly anyone in the world knows its secret 56-ingredient recipe. Now, traveling the country in a mobile stage turned "Magic School Bus"/bar, David Summers (Manager of National Events) and the team at Jägermeister are giving new life to old favorites.

The History of the Master Hunter

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Over about two years Dr. Craig Stoner and David Baxter of Blackbird Spirits, LLC have used natural herbs to research and create a very unique distilled beverage.  Dr. Stoner's Fresh Herb Spirits began distribution earlier this year of Dr. Stoner's Fresh Herb Vodka and Dr. Stoner's Smoky Herb Whiskey. These distillates offer a one-of-a-kind, complex profile true to the herbal scent, and matching flavors to fit almost anywhere. The smooth and subtle profiles of the spirits make them intriguing, versatile and flavorful in a whole new way.

The Fresh Herb Vodka provides a piney hoppy herbal scent, and finishing tastes of natural citrus and fresh botanical essences. The Smoky Herb Whiskey offers a classic American whisky base with unique smoky herbal complexities. Herbs, grasses and hops all mix together with the warm nuances of coffee, caramel and cherry true to whiskey.

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John Bates never considered himself a forefather of craft beer in Baltimore, but anyone who knew him knew he provided everyone in the industry with so much more. The kind, caring, passionate man lit up everywhere he went with his smile and helped bring craft beers to the taps around town.

On July 22nd, 2017 the world lost a wonder.  Not a single person who interacted with John forgets their conversations with the man who brought a lot of beer to Baltimore.

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This month, Patrice Pinet, Master Blender at Courvoisier, took some time in the States to sit down and discuss the new ways they're staying ahead of the curve in the Cognac industry.

Courvoisier has a longstanding tradition of innovation over the past 200 years. As a brand, Courvoisier consistently tries to stay on top and learn new ways to maintain and even improve quality and continues to hold status as one of the best in the world.

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Jon Carroll's career around restaurants actually started at the Baltimore Comedy Factory where he was swiftly thrown into serving in an emergency; the dreaded no-call-no-show. More recently he acted as the Bar Manager for Gertrude's where he became close friends with chef/owner, John Shields and Smoking Bowls truly began.

Jon expressed his gratitude for Shields saying, "My father is still alive and has always been amazing to me, but John Shields is like a second father figure."

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Posted by on in July 2017 Editions

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Erica's parents, forty-year veterans and restaurant owners, started her early in restaurants and she grew up involved behind the scenes and eventually on the front lines. During school at Community College of Baltimore County in Towson, she was already managing bars and working at a variety of bars and restaurants around Baltimore.

After graduating she did what most do and tried to find a stable desk job. Working in finance for an advertising firm was that job, but that wasn't for her. 

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In April, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot announced the creation of the "Reform on Tap Task Force". After House Bill 1283 (HB1283) passed, the Comptroller's office began its fight to improve further legislation and remains an active oppositional voice. Mr. Franchot is a firm believer that more barrels and improved regulations will have brewers at the bank.

What's Actually In HB1283?

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Posted by on in May 2017 Editions

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The dimly lit bar contains zero televisions and zero distractions. Generic wooden tap handles hide the brews on draft, and you won't find too many recognizable bottles on the shelf or the wine rack. With an encyclopedic knowledge of beer, wine, and spirits Ryan Travers will take you on a trip around the world and bring bartending back down to earth.

Ryan is part owner and bartender at Of Love and Regret in Canton, located directly across from The 'Natty Boh Tower'. Affectionately referred to as OLAR, the bar and bottle shop have been operating for almost five years. 

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Posted by on in April 2017 Editions

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David Metz is the Wine Director and Sommelier for The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C.  and its affiliated restaurant named, Plume and cocktail bar, Quill. Coming up on one decade with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, David embraces the new challenge the Jefferson presents with the confidence he exudes.

David served as the sommelier at Bourbon Steak for a majority of his time spent with Four Seasons. Despite his own accomplishments he quickly honored his predecessors when asked how great of a challenge it was to take over the entire beverage program for the Jefferson saying, "I really inherited a candy store. There were two sommeliers there before me who really set the tone and laid the groundwork for what I consider to be a very impressive wine list."

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Posted by on in March 2017 Editions

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Ken and Matt Praay could've kept with their normal day jobs.
Instead they decided to give back to their city by becoming brothers in beer
as co-owners of Monument City Brewing Company.

The brothers Praay decided -- not so accidentally -- to begin brewing commercially after a series of fortunate events. Ken explained, "I started brewing at home in about 2006, long before [Matt] could even start drinking beer. It started out on the stove and he would get involved when he was home, and in about 2012 we started writing a business plan." 

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At the 2016 Army/Navy football game, event reporter Doug Mace caught up with Seth Jordan, founder of Dog Tag Brewing LLC, to ask about the impact of this heroic brew.

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The effects of September 11, 2001 spread far across the globe and to every American. In Los Angeles and particularly in New York, and everywhere in between, the country mourned the loss of thousands of innocent American lives. In the aftermath many people's lives were changed forever.

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Dan Colasurdo wears many hats and in his experiences has worn some that you would never guess. From service staff, to owner, to manager, to script writer and back again, Dan is a great example of the importance of balanced, educational and experiential learning that can be so successful in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry.

Since growing up in northern New Jersey and working in a pizzeria, Dan worked around food from a young age. While attending school at the University of Maryland he also worked at a local bar honing his service and bartending skills. By the ripe age of 24 he was already the operating partner at a restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland called Cafe Bello. 

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From a farm dog at an Austin, Texas brewery to a brand that self-identifies as Vodka for dog lovers, Tito's brand Vodka exemplifies a pair of passions becoming a national favorite. Furthermore, Tito's shows how successful people can contribute so positively in a variety of different mediums.

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Posted by on in November 2016 Editions

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Fast expanding local craft brews have again exploded across the United States over the last decade. Even with such rapid growth and concerns over a “tapped out” industry, many young entrepreneurs are still buying in and staying current, and seeing their thirst and effort pay off.

Tom Foster, Francis Smith, and Colin Marshall are the founders of Diamondback Brewing Company and grew together from homebrew to a full brewery located at McHenry Row in Locust Point. You may recognize beer names like Three Thirty Amber Ale, Omar’s O.P.A., The Bamb Black IPA, and others as part of the Diamondback repertoire. With their recent expansion and upcoming plans there surely is plenty yet to see.

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Todd Collins of Platinum Reputations doesn’t take “days off”. In fact most everything he does has a purpose and that purpose is the client. The company hashtag #educateevolvedefend lends itself to the idea that this industry is ever-changing and always improving. The strategy and theory behind every service offered proves exactly that concept.

Platinum Reputations is a reputation management company that helps restaurants and other hospitality industry members manage and maintain a positive online presence. The company offers a wide variety of services including videography, email marketing, website management, and social media reputation support.

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Professional restaurateur, amateur wrestler and owner of Jimmy's Famous Seafood located in Dundalk, John Minadakis knows what it takes to be the best because he was recently named the best. But to him, being the best is far more important and intricate than making the most and opening hundreds of locations.

Jimmy's was recently honored as the 2016 Best Bar and Best Restaurant in Maryland by the Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM). John and his extended family of "Team Famous" found ways to make it look easy both in and outside the bar. The brand and all-around experience at Jimmy's is something that John dedicates himself to everyday.

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Baltimore has changed a lot over the last few decades, but Danny Coker is one man who has remained pretty constant throughout his life growing up here in Charm City. From his days of playing shortstop at Calvert Hall, to now co-owning Bartenders on Boston St, Danny embodies the spirit of the city and the industry. Just five minutes and five customers into opening it is easy to see how entrenched in the fabric of the community he really is.

Danny is well known by locals who grew up with him as a fun-loving and loquacious "Highlandtown boy" from Clinton St. Now he has become better known for his work behind the bar with his wife Dana; and still for that unending energy.

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Sitting in the Mt. Vernon Marketplace is a sensory experience. Between the noises, smells, and sights the variety of vendors offer a cornucopia of different tastes and experiences. This open-air warehouse feel provides a desire to explore and the expectation of finding something new and exciting just around the corner.

Among the dozen-or-so vendors in the marketplace are several bars and small restaurants. Perhaps the most unassuming but obvious is TAPS Fill Station. On first approach, owner Will Glass has designed a simple, barebones bar front. A wood grain bar top, generic red and black tap handles, and ten barstools highlight the streamlined look. Between the repurposed warehouse turned marketplace and the sleek design, TAPS has found a perfect home.

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Since DiPasquale’s opening in 1914 the DiPasquale family has provided Baltimore with an authentic Italian market that has metamorphosized into what it is today. Currently the store features a full deli, brick oven, homemade pastas, oils, fine wine and spirits, and more. 

Affectionately, third generation owner Joe DiPasquale struggled to define the store saying, "This is insane. I can't cookie-cutter what this place is."

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Posted by on in April 2016 Editions

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Dennis and Alice Kistner are the Bar and General Managers, respectively, at Mahaffey's Pub in Canton and are married in "real life". The two proud parents also have an 18 month old baby keeping them busy at home, but that doesn't stymie their dedication to the bar one bit. If anything the youngster has driven them to reach for greater success.

The pair couldn't help but show excitement, and borderline elation, whenever talking about "Little Dennis". Alice described early motherhood with the youngster saying, "It's fun. We take him with us everywhere. He's a good baby, he makes us laugh and now he's doing so many things, it's entertaining."

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Julian Demiri: An Unexpected Ascension

Julian Demiri arrived in the United States in 1996 as a young 19 year-old from Albania. He arrived speaking no English. He arrived with no job. He had however, just won the lottery.

Every year the United States offers around 50,000 temporary green cards to applicants from around the world. While this may not be the lottery you had in mind, it is in many ways just as important in the lives of those who are picked. What those "winners" do with such an opportunity makes all the difference. 

Speaking French and Albanian, Demiri hit the ground running at a now defunct bar in Fells Point. After five years, Demiri earned full citizenship and sought a job at the Inner Harbor staple, the Rusty Scupper. The Scupper has become a well-known landmark in Baltimore with an impressive history and an award-winning wine list.

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