Q+A with Gas Lamp Grill Bar Manager



I recently sat down with Brian the bar manager at Gas lamp and asked him a few questions about how Thursday night at Gas lamp became the college night.
Q: When did Thursday night become college night at Gas lamp?
A: Over ten years ago. Before it was the Gas lamp it was called the Garden and that’s when we started to get the college kids in on Thursday nights. It’s great revenue!
Q: Do you know what it was that started the whole college night?
A: Ever since the owner started hiring college kids to work the bar, more and more college kids came in to drink on the nights that they where working. Apparently Thursday became the day when the most college kids where working the bar.
Q: How do you keep the kids coming in every Thursday?
A: The great kids that I have working behind the bar. There all smart and polite and know how to keep people coming back. Social media is also key. The kids who work here are always posting things on Facebook and twitter. By the time Thursday roles around all the Salve kids know what’s going to be happening here. The bartenders keep tabs on the social media because they want more customers to come in and give them tips.
Q: What’s the craziest thing that you’ve seen go down on a Thursday night?
A: I’ve seen a kid start a fight and then get dragged out the back door by four bouncers. As they were dragging him, he grabbed onto the railing and in mid air started crying his eyes out saying, “No I don’t want to leave all my friends are in there”.
Q: How often do you change the beers you have on tap?
A: Weekly.
Q: How do you continue to thrive as a bar in a town with so much competition?
A: It’s all about who you hire. We have a great staff that’s super friendly and that’s what keeps the people coming in the door.


5 Best Bars in Newport RI

5. Yesterdays: Located in Washington Square, Yesterdays has a terrific beer selection, probably the biggest in Newport. They offer around 20-25 different beers on tap. They have new brews to choose from almost every week. Yesterdays also has good food and a décor that will make you think of a classic saloon.
4. Brick Ally Pub: Located on Upper Thames St. the Brick Ally Pub is without a doubt the most famous bar Newport and for a good reason. The décor is great. The place is covered with all kinds of vintage collectables from license plates to old car part signs all which as a New England flair. The beer selection is average but it is their food that makes them reign supreme.
3. Benjamin’s : Located on Thames St. Benjamin’s is a quaint bar that is not as big as some of the others in town. However, the atmosphere in Benjamin’s is great. They have two levels and a semi secret third level that is only open during the summer. Their beer selection is decent and they are always on top of the seasonal brews. Benjamin’s is always full of good conversation with local residents who are always friendly (at least most of the time).
2. Diego’s: Located in Bowens Warf, Diego’s is a little Mexican bar. The beer selection is average. However, it is Diego’s specialty mixed drinks that makes it stand at the top. They have a huge list of specialty mixed drinks broken down into different types of alcohol. My personal favorite would have to be the Hemmingway daiquiri (a rum drink). Diego’s also has some great Mexican food, from great burritos to fajitas.
1.Clark Cook House: Located in Bowens Warf, The Clark Cook House offers a terrific atmosphere with many different rooms. The Clarke Cook House has every thing. Great food, great atmosphere and several bars. The Clarke Cook House has at least 4 bars. There beer selection is average and the bar tenders know how to make a really good mixed drink. There is a fine dinning section upstairs, a regular dinning section and a dancing club in the basement level. Perhaps the best thing about the Clarke Cook House, is its raw bar. They have the best oysters in all of Newport and the best that I have had in New England.

Beer And Skiing Go Hand In Hand

In the Winter of 2010 I took a trip up to Tremblant Quebec to go skiing.  The resort was beautiful and the conditions on the slopes were pristine.  However, I have done plenty of skiing in my life and good skiing is something that I am very familiar with.  Besides, there was something at Tremblant that I enjoyed even more than the skiing.  There happened to be a nice pub at the base of the mountain called La Diable. This pub was also a micro-brewery.  Inside they offered four of their own in house brewed beers.  They had a blonde, an amber, a dark, and an extreme ale that had an alcohol percentage somewhere around 12%.   As a beer enthusiast and as someone who has tried his fair share of micro-brews and craft beers, I can honestly report to you that these were the best beers I had ever tasted.  Each one was just as good as the next.  Each one had the perfect amount of hoppy flavor and they all had a refreshing, clean finish.  What does this have to do with skiing you ask?  Well, good beer is one thin,g but good beer after a day or even just a few hours on the ski slopes is something else entirely.  The refreshment factor of beer is amplified immensely after a day of skiing or a day of any physical activity. Extreme temperatures make all the difference as well and naturally it was rather cold out.  The message of this anecdote is that if you ever find yourself in Tremblant Quebec, make sure you stop in to Le Diable and get yourself a few brews.  If your not staying within walking distance, I would strongly recommend that you bring a designated driver because you are not going to want to stop at just a couple of theses delicious beers.  In all honesty, the beer is so good that I find myself now, three years later thinking about them at any given moment.  I would go back just for the beer ,no joke!  Just as side note, Tremblant gets ranked as #1 ski area on the east coast every year in Ski Magazine.

How to Make Nice with a Newport Bar Tender

In Newport RI, you’ll have a much better life and bar experience if you know how to interact with the local bar tenders.  The bar tenders in this town are constantly dealing with arrogance, stupidity, crass behavior and above all else disrespect.  This is not surprising when you have a college full of kids in their early twenties right down the street.  If there is one thing that these bar tenders want besides your money, it is respect.  When at a bar in Newport on a weekend, chances are it will be crowded and you will probably have to wait a while for a drink.  Remain calm and cool.  Put your money on the table so that they know your not just standing there trying to look cut.  Follow these guidelines and the service will come.  The more obnoxious you are, the less likely you are to get service in the future.  Also, the more respect you show, the better received you will be bu the staff and your peers.  Never complain to bartenders about how long the wait was.  Trust me they know!  And they have probably already been yelled at by every customer before you.  Be kind and the bar gods will shine down upon you.


The Evolution of the American Beer

I am not old enough to remember a time when it was either Budweiser or Miller or a few other beers that tasted virtually the same.  Although I may have been alive when this was the case,( I was not old enough to drink).  I am however grateful that I never had to be a beer drinker in a time when my selection was limited to domestic beers that all had that generic taste and blonde color.  It seems as though every month these days, one or several American beer companies are coming out with new brews.  Whether they be limited edition or permanent beers, the selection is amazing.  These days, I at times feel overwhelmed by how many beers there are to choose from.  I am only talking about domestic beers.  It has always been the impression of the American beer community, that imports whether you hate them or love them, have more respect in the global beer community that American beers.  For example, you don’t see many Germans drinking Budweiser but you do see many Americans drinking Becks.   However, it is safe to say that America is stepping up its game and starting to give Europe a little more competition. Take a look at this article to learn more about the ever-expanding American beer industry.  http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/b/beer/index.html


The World of Craft Beers

If you are someone who typically plays it safe and just likes to stick to the basic domestic brews than that is your choice.  However, I would highly encourage you to dive into the world of craft beers.  Craft beers are beers made typically at micro-breweries. They include ingredients unique to the area in which they were made.  They usually are not made for mass production.  However, smaller beer companies like Sam Adams make craft beers that are usually only around for a couple of months at a time that you can buy at package stores.  The reason why I would encourage anybody in the Newport area to experiment with craft beers, is because New England is a wonderful place to enjoy some really delicious craft beers.  The Alagash beer company would be one of my favorite companies that specializes in craft beers.  They are located in Maine.

In regards to the Newport area, the Coddington Brewery is a great place to score some fresh and tasty craft beers.  It is a micro-brewery/restaurant and their beer is some the best on the Island!  The blueberry is particularly good.  The Coddington Brewery is located on the Coddington Highway right up the street from CCRI.  To learn more about the world of craft beers, check out this website. http://drinkcraftbeer.com/editorial/

Welcome to Newport on Tap

Come and see whats on tap! Newport On Tap serves up the finest beer news.  This blog will cover everything from what is happening in the Newport beer community, to news about the beer industry as a whole.  This is the place for the latest trends in the beer industry.  If you are a beer lover like me, than you know that 2013 so far has been a big year for beer.  With the release of Budweiser Black Crown and Becks Sapphire (which took two years to perfect by the way), these are exciting times for beer enthusiast and casual drinkers.  Newport is one of the biggest drinking towns in New England, so it is imperative that we stay on top of what this city has to offer.  The bars are constantly changing what they have on tap.  I’ll keep you up to date on which bars are providing the best selection and the tastiest brews.

This blog will also consist of things having to do with beer that may not necessarily be about the drink itself.  For example, bar edict is a passion of mine and I look forward to sharing some do’s and don’ts in the Newport bar scene.  You should also expect to see some fun facts from the past.  history of the industry and how important beer is to American enterprise.