Friday, June 7, 2013

The Bohemian Wine Bar and Pub

I recently had a get-together with some work mates of mine in Delano, MN.  We met at the very new Bohemian Wine Bar and Pub right in the old center of town.  Built in an old tire or auto shop, the pub has a large bank of windows fronting the street.  The main room is spare and wide open with local artisan paintings and photographs on the walls.  Some of the walls are painted a brick red and the rest (as well as the ceiling) are beautiful knotted and varnished wood.

Proprietress Sara Beamish serving up some beers to my friends!

The bar is at the back right corner, manned by Sara Beamish the co-proprietor of the place.  At the time of this writing they had 5 beers on tap, all Minnesotan, with a few bottles available as well.  Beers at that time ranged from Lost Trout Brown, to Lucid Air to Grainbelt (Nordeast I think.)  They also had a good wine selection, but I'll admit I didn't pay attention that side of things!  Spouses and non beer people will have plenty of wines to try.  They have a couple light snacks to serve like hummus and a cheese plate, but no real kitchen.  They also have a stage in the main room and most weekends have live music or other performers there.  The place definatly have a more upscale restaurant seating vibe than most small town drankin' bars.

I really like the idea behind this pub, admittedly because they are very into craft and local beers.  Sara was kind enough to take the time to answer some interview questions for me.  I was surprised at some of her responses, as you may be as well!  Overall I respect the love of exploration and discovery that drives this couple's dream. 

EW:  What prompted you two to open this type of venue as opposed to a typical small-town bar or restaurant?

Sara:  My husband and I are not satisfied with drinking much of what is offered to the public in terms of mass-produced wines and beers.  We really enjoy seeking out the beers and wines that everyone may not have already tried so that we can expand their knowledge base.  Our bar is the perfect venue to do that in; however, we were already doing that in our home when we would invite friends and family over for gatherings and parties.

EW:  Tell us more about your wine and beer for life/a year program.

Sara:  The beer/wine for a year as well as the beer/wine for a life program is a win-win situation.  For the people taking part in it, they receive a fantastic benefit: beer or wine!  There are slight differences in the programs which I will lay out.

1. The beer for a year costs $250, and this allows you to drink all the beer you like for one year.
2. The wine for a year costs $500, and this allows you to drink all the wine you would like for one year. 
3.  The beer for life program costs $1,000, and you drink all the beer you would like for life.
4. The wine for life program costs $1,000, and you are able to receive your first glass of wine each time you stop in for free. 

A couple things to remember are that the owners/servers reserve the right to cut you off if you are becoming too intoxicated (within the limits of the law), and this is not transferable to anyone else.  The 'For Life' programs expire at the end of the participant's life or the life of the business, whichever comes first (sorry for a slightly morbid statement!). For the beer or wine for a year participants, we are only allowing 20 people into each program. We currently have 5 people signed up for the beer.  Once the slots are filled, others will be placed on a waiting list. The people in each slot will have the option to renew when their year is up or the first person on the waiting list will have the opportunity to purchase the spot. We have 30 slots total for the beer for life and wine for life. Currently, we have 1 person already signed up for that. 

The reason it is a win-win is because this money is capital for us to complete our outdoor patio as well as move onto the next phase which will be a 3,000 square foot banquet hall or (fingers crossed...) a brewery in the back of our building.

EW:  What got you guys into craft beer and wines?

Sara:  Ken (my husband and co-owner) has loved craft beers for some time.  For the past four years, we have taken day trips and longer trips around the state, country, and even Mexico to find all the breweries and wineries we could.  We really enjoy doing tastings and immersing ourselves in the environment that comes with being at a brewery or winery.  There is something about taking a sniff of beer and smelling the aromas that can put you at ease for the afternoon!

EW:  Do you have any favorite local beers and wines that you would like to get into your place?

Sara:  We really are looking forward to getting in wines from Morgan Creek Vineyards out of New Ulm, MN.  It was the first winery we went to, and proceeds from the sales of that wine are going to be going into a fund that will promote the arts in Delano as well as New Ulm. My aunt, Bobbi, owned The Bohemian Bed and Breakfast in New Ulm which burned down in 2011 and took her life--one of the reasons we named our bar The Bohemian.  She was very much a 'bohemian' type of person and loved the arts. We are very excited to give back to the arts as a way to honor her memory as well as the memories of my two cousins who also died in the fire.

As for beers, we can't wait to get beers in from 612Brew.  They had a very interesting selection of beers, so can't wait to add them to our rotation.  We have already started to serve beer from Schell's, but there are so many to offer up! As fall comes around, we will definitely be serving their Oktoberfest as it is a favorite of Ken's and mine.

EW:  What are your goals for the future? Do you plan to increase your number of taps or carry some bottled beers?

Sara:  I gave our immediate goals with regard to the building renovations above. We are adding another three taps in the next week, and are working to increase the numbers to another three in the very near future. That would make for a total of 11 taps that we can keep a good rotation of craft beers on, which would appear to be one of the largest if not the largest selection of craft beers in the area! Depending on which path we take in the back area, we will add even more taps there.  We currently carry a gluten free beer, and are open to the possibility of adding some other bottled beers. So far, there hasn't been too big of a demand for the bottled beer, but you never know what the future holds!.

EW:   Thank you so much for spending the time to respond to my questions Sara!  I really like the place and would encourage anyone who lives nearby to stop in for a beer (or a wine if you swing that way.)  I really want you guys to succeed in this somewhat off the beaten path endeavor.  If I lived closer I would totally do the beer for life, especially with your plans to expand the taps!

The Bohemian Wine Bar and Pub
221 2nd Street North
Delano, MN 55328

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for share........