Transitions at The Pint Room – Keep the Great, Add New Energy, and Bring in Even More Events

Transitions at The Pint Room – Keep the Great, Add New Energy, and Bring in Even More Events

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

Implementing changes at a successful business is never easy, but they are often necessary and can be chances for even greater success. Personnel changes are an important subset of this subject, and can occur for hundreds of different reasons. But the concerns surrounding staffing changes are the same as for any other – how do you keep the best of what was established while at the same time enthusiastically welcoming opportunities to improve?

It helps immensely when the new people coming in to managing positions are following individuals who left them a tight ship, running well and doing more than just staying afloat. That’s the situation at The Pint Room in Carmel, where new GM Katherine Evans and bar manager (and beer buyer) Patrick Muth have inherited a top notch group of co-workers and practices, and are now looking to build on past successes. Most things look the same at the Pint Room, but a few changes are taking place – including having even more events.

Events coming up. September and October are strong months for craft beverage events, and this is true at The Pint Room as well. 1) The fun gets started on Tuesday, the 17th with a six draft line Oktoberfest tap takeover from Sun King Brewing. The Oktoberfest marzen will definitely be on tap, but check out the Facebook event page for more offerings, including the Melo-wheat, the medal-winning Panchanga, and best of all, the Magpie Muckle – a scotch ale aged in Breakfast Magpie barrels. That beer won the silver medal for barrel-aged beers at GABF in 2017.

The cold room at The Pint Room in Carmel gets a working over when a tap takeover is comping up. So many lines to change. image credit: The Pint Room

2) The fun continues on the Thursday, the 19th at 6pm with the Indiana Launch Party for Old Nation Brewery. Cavalier Distributing is bringing the maker of M-43 and Boss Tweed to Indiana. In fact, these are the two beers that will be featured that evening. Each is a New England IPA, with the Boss Tweed being an imperial version. Both score over 4.25 on Untappd and have a plethora of variants that riff on the base beers. There will be Old Nation representatives on hand to talk up the beers and the brewery; let’s hope they bring some swag.

3) All September long is Bourbon Heritage Month. To help celebrate, this is the inaugural year of the Carmel Bourbon Trail, of which The Pint Room is an enthusiastic participant. Six participating locations will have each of the following bourbons all month long: Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam Black, Buffalo Trace straight bourbon, Knob Creek, Eagle Rare, and Basil Hayden’s.

Those last two are new to Walter and I, although we do have a bottle of Eagle Rare barrel-aged Imperial Stout (2019) from Triton Brewing waiting patiently at home for the right night to crack it open. Eagle Rare is a Buffalo Trace bourbon that is aged no less than ten years. It has won more than 50 medals, including a double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits competition – twice, and more than ten golds in just the past year and a half.

Basil Hayden’s is a Jim Beam small batch bourbon from Clermont, KY with a hint of tea and peppermint on the nose and some spice on the tongue from the generous rye in the grist. It was named the Rye Whiskey of the Year at the 2017 New York International Spirits Competition. Republic National personnel came through and educated all The Pint Room bartenders on all the bourbons, so taste and ask questions until you order the Uber.

Come cheer on Brissett and the Colts….or drown your sorrows at The Pint Room every Sunday. image credit: AP/Mark J. Terrill

4) Every Sunday during the NFL season is a great time to get to The Pint Room. From 1pm until close (9pm) there will be food specials to help you enjoy the games on all those TVs. Queso fries, chicken nachos, mini hot dogs, and pull pork sliders will be there waiting on you to arrive in your favorite jersey and root on your team.

5) The big event comes in mid-October, as a full 34 draft lines will be dedicated to the Bell’s Brewery Anniversary Party. Thursday the 17th is the celebration from 6pm to close, so you better just count on calling in to work Friday. Special beers have been held back by Bell’s and will be released on draft first to The Pint Room, including the Double Two Hearted. But that’s just where the list starts – four year-aged 30th Anniversary Imperial Stout with cherry, Uberon, three variants of the Third Coast Old Ale, the very rare Le Batteur, a new pomegranate version of the rare sour L’appel Du Vide….it just keeps going. Bell’s and Monarch rep.s will be in attendance to round out the party and discuss Bell’s to your heart’s delight.

New blood, but same familiar feel. Katherine Evans, the new GM, told me that the greatest challenge in her new position is to make sure that she is adequately filling the shoes of Andrea Kennerk, who is now with Upland-FSQ. Shelly Post, the Director of Operations for The Pint Room in Ohio came through and showed Katherine the ropes, and says the location was, and is, in good hands.

Katherine comes to The Pint Room from the Cambria Hotel in Westfield where she was the bar and restaurant manager. In all, she has more than six years of managerial experience, yet she is ready to bring some new energy to The Pint Room. Building the business further will be easy given the great base she was left with and all the ideas she brings to her new situation. This is reflected in the even greater number of events she is bringing to Carmel; however, she said, “My favorite right now is meeting all my great co-workers and patrons, including the large number of regulars. Being raised and working in Westfield, I am now really enjoying the different kind of feel and vibe in downtown Carmel.”

Look for Bell’s take over The Pint Room in mid-October, to the tune of 34 tap lines. image credit: Bell’s Brewery

Likewise, new bar manager Patrick Muth is settling in to his new position with alacrity. Previous manager David Gross worked with Patrick for a couple of months before he moved on, giving the reins over to Patrick in that final month to do the job himself; David just gave advice when needed. Look for the extensive beer list to look similar, with perhaps a tweak here and there.

Pat is a beer geek at heart, with knowledge of breweries and beers from around the country, including the Pennsylvania area where he worked before coming to Carmel. What’s more, Patrick is a huge fan of independent breweries, so look for perhaps fewer of the big corporate beer companies to dominate the tap list. They’ll still be around, but Patrick is looking to give ample space to the independent brewer – the back bone of the industry. Have you got favorites you’d like to see on the draft board, from Indiana or beyond? Talk to Pat and let him know. Being a beer lover, he’ll probably know about them and will be enthusiastic to learn of new possibilities.

A seamless transition. All in all, the move to two new managers has been smooth at The Pint Room. The key is to keep the best and improve on the rest. Patrons have been happy with the results, as have been the owners, so look for a “steady as they go” mentality to prevail, along with a creative new twist here and there. Stop in and say hi to Kate and Pat; they are more than willing to stop and talk about what patrons like and would like to see. It’s all about improving the drinkers’ and diners’ experience, and that’s never going to change.

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