Thursday, February 02, 2017

THE BEER BEAT: A lovely parting glass: "I will never forget the BBC and feel like I am losing an old friend."

As previously noted, Sunday will be the final day of business for Bluegrass Brewing Company in St. Matthews.

THE BEER BEAT: It took a week to get the details straight, but BBC is leaving its current St. Matthews location after 23 years and hopes to reopen elsewhere in Louisville.

I'm going to turn over this post to Timmy Ingram, whose words (posted at Facebook) are well chosen and very much appreciated, but first, how do I know Timmy Ingram?

From BBC St. Matthews, of course, and just like him, I'm grateful for all the good people I met and drank beers with at the bar over the years.

Also like Timmy, I've been thinking about the departed, particularly since the closure was announced -- Kevin, Matt, Patrick, Jim and too damned many others. They aren't forgotten.

I was there for the soft opening in 1993, so I suppose a Sunday trip to St. Matthews is appropriate. "End of an era" is overused, though not this time.


An open letter to BBC St. Matthews and Worthogs Members.

I walked through the doors of the BBC St. Matthews during its grand opening over 20 years ago, to find the place energized with excitement. I was so impressed with the scene there, I became a Worthog member soon after, and proudly hoisted mug #151. Although it was broken many times over the years, it was always replaced, each server laughingly blaming the other for the broken or disappearing mug.

In the early years, I marveled at the diversity of these beer drinking patrons. A mechanic, a lawyer, an airline pilot, old dudes, hippies, a cook, musicians and college professors, sitting shoulder to shoulder, engaged in conversation and seemingly unaware of the differences that may separate them. I was also amazed at the unlikely friendships that began over good food and beer from out of towners, from Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburg and Philly, as well as New England. Many of them choosing to stay in Louisville. There were Worthogs from Germany and even Russia. We delighted strangers who happened into the BBC with our kindness and generosity. We teased each other merciIessly, about sports, and politics, and most of the time (ha ha) no one got mad.

I will borrow the word “Craic” from the Irish, describing the atmosphere and the mood of the pub. The BBC definitely had an atmosphere of fun, laughter, music and sometimes mischief. We smoked cigars and pipes, told stories, played pranks, and shared beer paired dinners. I remember the Blessing of the Bock and the Barbecue Cooking contests. I laugh out loud thinking of the unlikely winners with their $20 Hibachi. I remember the Superbowl pots, and some of the more memorable Worthog meetings.

On rare occasion, I had to come in and apologize for my behavior. Two times come to mind, involving Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale and Heine Brothers Stout. Let’s leave it at that.

Over the years, Worthog members and servers came and went. The atmosphere changed. Some of the changes good, and some maybe not so good. The beer changed, the menu changed. Sometimes my fellow Worthogs, as well as myself, did our share of grumbling about it. However, most came back sooner or later, because they simply missed the old crowd.

I think back on the closeness I felt with some of those Worthogs just before Thanksgiving and Christmas as we shared our last Pumpkin Spice or Ebenezer before the Holiday.

I almost forgot about the smoking ban and how we feared that it would “kill off” the bar business. So it goes …

And who can forget the ones we lost. Tony, Don, and Jimmy to name a few. Rest in Peace guys.

I will never forget the BBC and feel like I am losing an old friend. In closing, I will say, I felt the need to put in writing my feelings, and the sadness I am experiencing, is real. I hope that someone can find a way to keep together this special group of people. That’s all I got. Farewell.

Original Worthog member 151

Timmy “Ingy” Ingram, Prospect Kentucky

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