Thursday, May 3, 2012

44 Stone Sets the bar high in Columbia MO

I knew I JUST wrote about “Why we like 44 Stone Public House”, and one of the statements I made was – They are Innovative and Constantly Changing.

Well, mark your calendars – May 2nd 2012 44 Stone upped the ante when it comes to best pub in Columbia Missouri. How did they do this you ask? They already have one of the most creative menus, and definitely one best Tap Setups.

Expanding on the ever changing (and hard to get) Tap Lineup they have, the guys at 44 Stone kicked it up a notch and threw in Tap Cameras (TapCams) positioned over the new boards behind the bar.

Want to know what is flowing right now……Go HERE and Find Out.

I had a chance to talk with Dave Faron from 44 Stone to see what inspired this change, see where it was going and see what is next on tap (pun intended) for Columbia’s Up and Coming Best Bar –


S&B – Dave, this and the new Tap Tower seems to have been a long time coming, can you give us some insight to what was the inspiration and any snags you hit along the way?

Dave - The New Tap Tower needed to match our existing tower (formerly called 'THE ZEUS'), which was a discontinued stock item. It needed to be custom built, so the only snag was how long it took to be built and delivered. Once it got here, it took less than a day for beer to be flowing.

S&B – Who did the work? It looks great.

Dave – Our Friends at Major Brands installed the Tower and Beer Lines (Tyler and Heath) with some help from one of our Handyman Regulars (Shane). The TapCams were installed and put online by another regular, Will O'Brien (an IT guy), who executed the installation cleanly and efficiently.

S&B - How often do they update?

Dave- The TapCams update every 10 seconds or so, but the image of the Boards on the site is usually around 3 minutes old (with a Refresh).  So, ALMOST live.

S&B – Tell us a little bit of the added taps. Will this translate into some more exotic/hard to get brews or maybe a little stability with some fan favorites (with some room to be creative as well)?

Dave –  Having twelve taps will lead to more variety with a focus on seasonality. So, through the summer, more Pale Ales, Saisons and Wheat Beers (with a Hard Cider) will make appearances. As the weather cools, Big Barleywines, Stouts, Belgian Dark and American Strong Ales will tend to dominate the tower. That being said, we will always have a Stout, Porter, Barleywine, Belgian Strong, etc, but 'easier drinking' beers will be more mixed in during Hot Weather, I drink Stouts all year long, and so do many beer-geeks.  Also, we'll do more volume with certain breweries (like
Founders) which means we're more apt to get the rarer beers on tap.  So more taps = everybody wins (except the Bud Light people).

S&B – I notice there are two prices now for beers on tap, what is that all about?

Dave – Again, we want to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the Bars (and Craft Beer Bars) as much as possible, after all, there are a lot of places to get a beer. So, we offer all draft beer in two sizes: Big Boy (12-16oz, depending on the beer) and 5oz. The lower number is, of course, the 5oz pour. You can, in effect, 'build your own flight.' Also, you could conceivably try everything on tap (depending on the Gravity of the lineup of course) without being COMPLETELY tanked.

S&B – Are there plans for other cameras? With Hell’s Kitchen being some people’s guilty pleasure- is there a Kitchen Cam or Specials Cam in the future?

Dave – We have no plans for a kitchen cam, but the IPhone App that Will has created (for the TapCams) will have a link to the Food Feature, Driving Directions, etc. The IPhone App has been submitted to Apple for approval.

S&B – I noticed a Cards Hat and Baseball up on Cam 2. Can we expect to see other nuances make an appearance? Fan Favorite Beers Highlighted? Picks? Special Messages?

Dave – We are big Cardinals fans here, and that is our little homage. We do plan on having a little fun with the TapCam ledge.

44Stone Cam

S&B – Anything else exciting in the near future?

Dave – We plan to evolve, of course, as often as possible. We've had a very eventful month (with great response, of course, to all the changes and improvements) and will let everyone get used to things for a while. Then we'll continue to move forward...

S&B – Finally, tell us something that nobody (or very few people) know about 44 Stone.

Dave – We are doing well at the moment, indeed, but we had humble beginnings. We opened the doors on February 15th, 2011 because we didn't have a choice. Mark and I had less than $300 in our business account on our first day (with our personal assets almost depleted).  The chances that we would make it would be slim (based on that number) to most experts (especially the bankers and accountants). But here we are, still kicking, against all odds, hoping to change the local craft beer and quality food scene (for the better we hope).

Thanks for Dave for taking the time to give us some insight, and I really want to thank You and Mark for really going above and beyond when it comes to trying to bring a great social and dining experience to Columbia MO.

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