“Where Everybody Knows Your Name…”

You may recognize the tag line from the old TV show “Cheers”. If you don’t then the premise of the show took place in a neighborhood bar. The show characters were the bar owner, the staff and some regular patrons.  I’m not going to delve into the plot lines but suffice it to say that the show lasted several years because you became involved with characters. It was comforting to tune in every week and see those people on the screen.  You can look it up on Netflix or Amazon or Hulu. That’s what a good happy hour place should be like.

Trying to find a place like that in a college town like Gainesville can be difficult. A lot of establishments cater to the college kids and who can blame them. And even if you can find a place more for a slightly older (no wise cracks) crowd the staff is usually made up of those same college kids. So if they work there long enough to get to know you… give it a minute… They’ll be gone at the end of semester.

This is why I like Gainesville House of Beer. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the drafts they serve. I’ve been going there for about two years now and while some of the staff has changed some have still remained because they like what they do. In fact while writing this I finished a delicious Einbacher Dunkel and wanted something else. Megan asked if I wanted an IPA or a Lager. I said Lager and she brought me two samples, a lager which tasted good, and a wonderful tasting Hacker-Pschorr Hubertus Bock which I think she knew I would like more.

On the way in to HOB I passed Amanda, who must have just finished her shift, in the parking lot and we exchanged greetings. And I don’t think I’ve seen her in over a month. She has a very discerning palate for beers and will gladly give her recommendations on a good draft.

Then there is Kat, who has not only helped broaden my tastes in beers, but has become a friend. This young lady not only knows her beers and her customers’ tastes but she can also steer you in the right direction for whiskeys and bourbons as well

Alex the manager is also good at learning the customers and recommending beers. There have been some other folks who have worked there as well who have been helpful but I will use the “older person” disclaimer to explain my not remembering their names, probably because they were guys, this a personal flaw of mine and should not reflect on them.

Gainesville HOB has 40 rotating taps as well as bottled beer and wine. It is centrally located in downtown Gainesville and is in walking distance of many restaurants. And you can bring food in with you if you like. I will admit that I am looking at this place through “beer” colored glasses while typing this, but I will also admit to liking this place from the get-go when I first walked in the door a couple years ago.

I would recommend experiencing it for yourself. Ask about the rail cards while you are there. I am on my fifth one and looking forward to the free beers or merchandise after filling it.


The search for Happy Hour begins!!

Way back when (before some of you were old enough to drink)  a bar owner in Somewhere, U.S.A. decided that he needed to find a way to get more patrons into his establishment. A variety of beers, liquors and wines wasn’t enough so he (or maybe she) added chips, pretzels, nuts and in some cases popcorn.

But while salty snacks were tasty (and certainly didn’t hurt sales) they eventually became boring for some folks. So another bar owner thought about adding other foods, like sandwiches, fried vegetables and.. (thank the Beer gods!!) wings. For a low price you could stop by a local watering hole after work, fill up on food and drink yourself silly and while you’re at it buy more drinks for your friends. Which brought about the need for pitchers, but I digress.

And thus was born Happy Hour. It has undergone some changes over the years but the idea has essentially remained the same; good food (and I mean bar food not fine dining), good drinks and good company.

The hard part is finding a place nowadays that has all three of those basic elements in the same place. A lot of places are specializing so much that you can’t find the combination that pleases the way it should.

Join my friends and I as we visit places around the town we live in (Gainesville, FL – GO GATORS!!) and other places in Florida and Elsewhere U.S.A.. We will share our thoughts on the venues, the different craft beers and breweries and the food. And you can join in the conversations we’ll have on whatever tickles our fancy (thus the Philosofiers in the title – Phiosofiers intentionally spelled wrong…discuss).

Writing again soon,