Final Inspections Passed!

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All the final inspections have been passed!  Woohoo!  That should allow us to finally buy beer!  I feel like I am turning 21 all over again!

Stay tuned.  Grand Opening announcements coming soon!

Tasty beer is almost here!

Nate posted: November 7, 2013
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Almost Done!

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Final Cumulative Update!

Well we are getting close now.  Final Health Inspection is today.  Final overall inspection is tomorrow.  If we pass both of those, I will announce the Grand Opening to the Twitter followers as soon as we have the certificates in hand.  Facebook fans will know shortly thereafter.

Still tons to do.  Once we have our certs, we have our liquor license, which means we can bring in beer and wine!  Employee training is this weekend and next week will be huge!  Still have to get the art on the walls (Sunday) and finish up the back bar installation to make it oh so pretty.

Thanks everyone for all the well wishes, and the patience to stay with us through this long, long, long process!

Almost there, just hold tight a little longer :)

GET READY FOR TASTY BEER LITTLETON!

Nate posted: November 5, 2013
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Keep your fingers crossed!

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This week is going to be madness, and we need all the well wishes we can get.

Everything is coming to a head this week. All the equipment comes in on Wednesday, all of the furniture is coming in throughout the week, we are looking to have the final inspection on Friday, all the POS setup and configuration takes place this week. You name it and it is happening this week.

I hope we make it through without a meltdown!

If we make it through the week the way we hope to, there will be some great announcements this weekend, or early next week.

Keep the dream of tasty beer alive!

Nate
High Plains Tap House
posted: October 28, 2013
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Partners

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Partners
 
Partner is an interesting word that gets used a lot to describe a people working together i.e. we are partners in crime, to a greeting i.e. Howdy Partner!, to a curse word i.e. My #@$%& partner screwed me again, to two people linking their lives together i.e. Meet my partner.
 
The definition is interesting to me because depending on who you are, you have had to deal with either me or my wife Laura, but not us both.  I have enjoyed blogging, and it seems people on social media are associating High Plains Tap House with me.  All of the vendors, contractors, workers, etc. have had to deal with Laura as she works to get the bar open.
 
I just wanted to take the time to introduce my wife Laura to the social media crew, so that everyone realizes that I have a very real partner who is shouldering a very large part of the load that is making a Tap House.
 
Laura and I make an excellent partnership in life, love, and the running of a business.  Focusing on the business, Laura has many of the talents that I lack and vice versa, which allows us to cover all of the needs of a fledgling Tap House.  Laura is tough, and I think that is the thing that has surprised people the most.  Laura will not be pushed around, and anyone that thinks that just because she is a beautiful woman that she can be manipulated in any way is in for a seriously rude awakening.  Laura is also an excellent relationship person.  Laura remembers names, dates, meeting times, etc.  Laura is excellent at dealing with a wide range of people issues and doing so with a smile on her face while getting her point across.  Laura and I are both good at organization, so as long as one or the other does the organizing (oh help us, not both) everything is kept in good order.  Laura has no patience.  This has come in handy many times by getting us to where we need to be by forcing her way through the bull to get to what she needs to have done.
 
All in all, my wife is an excellent partner.  Between the two of us, we have all of the bases covered.  Ultimately, I think people will get to know Laura more than I, as she will be the person who is always at the Tap House.
 
So now that everyone is introduced, we can all be friends.  :)
 
May all of your beers be tasty!
 
Nate
High Plains Tap House
“Why go to a bar in Denver, when you can go to a Tap House in Littleton?”
  posted: October 22, 2013
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Multiple Ways to Win!

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Mutliple Ways to Win!

I, personally, just like to give stuff away.  I realize that doesn't always make the best business sense, but I do enjoy it.  So with that said, I wanted to make sure that everyone knew about all of the ways you can follow us online so that you can maximize your potential to win when I get into a giving mood.

Facebook: Many of you are following on Facebook already.  We have already begun giving out prizes on our Facebook Page.

Website: www.HighPlainsTapHouse.com will have all of our menus, specials, etc.  If you go to the contact page on our website, you can opt in to our emailing list to hear about special events, and drink specials.  We will also be giving away prizes for just website followers, so be sure to get on our email list.

Twitter: @HPTapHouse  Help!  I only have 5 Twitter followers.  As things get ramped up, this will most likely become the way I communicate most.  Seems like the ideal media for beer reviews, and thus specials on specific beers?  I do know that I will have specific specials and prizes for my Twitter brethren.  Follow me @HPTapHouse

If you sign up for all 3 methods of communication, you will get some duplicate messages, but you will also have 3 times the ability to win!

Get signed up today!

May all of your beers be tasty!

Nate
High Plains Tap House
"Why go to a bar in Denver, when you can go to a Tap House in Littleton?"
  posted: October 21, 2013
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Cumulative Update #2

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Cumulative Update #2
 
We are inside 4 weeks till opening day, barring any major catastrophes!  Things are flying along and a lot of last minute decisions are being made.  We have finalized our Beer lists, and are working on our Wine list right now.  The food menu is finalized and that menu is in design.  Final colors were picked today, and all of our art work has arrived!  I won’t give any of it away but Karen Hartsoch did an amazing job picking out and designing all of the artwork for our main walls.  It will be awesome!  The muralist started painting today, and the back bar is in the final design stages.
 
We are still looking for Servers if anyone knows of anyone looking for a job.  All of our Bartender positions have been filled.
 
We are starting to get super excited, and we hope all of you are too.  This has been a long time in the making and it is so close we can almost taste the cold beer.
 
Coming soon – Food, Wine, and Beer pricing posted to the website.  More surprises for our followers.  More beer reviews and beer specials posted as we get closer to opening day.
 
May all of your beers be tasty!
 
Nate
High Plains Tap House
“Why go to a bar in Denver, when you can go to a Tap House in Littleton?” posted: October 17, 2013
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Great Customer Service through Efficiency!

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Efficiency = Great Customer Service
As Laura and I started thinking about and planning High Plains Tap House, we didn’t necessarily know the best ways to do everything we needed to do because we had never done it before.  This did bite us in a few instances, but it helped us as well.  It helped us because we took a fresh (unknowing) look at how to build in efficiencies in our bar.

If you take a look at what it takes to have outstanding customer service, you will find a lot of components.  One of the major components of great service is being able to serve the customer what they want as quickly as possible.  You can have the best servers in the world, but if they can’t get the drinks to the customers in a timely manner then what is the point.  Laura and I have been amazed over the years watching this process, and it is almost without exception the same everywhere.  First the server comes to your table and takes your order.  Then they hit whatever other tables they need to and then go and enter your order at a Point of Sale terminal.  Sometimes there is a line at the POS and sometimes not, but regardless in a busy environment it could be 5 minutes or more before your order is even entered into  the system.  At that point the server grabs their previous orders, deliver them, and then go back to repeat the process grabbing your order and finally bringing it around to your table.

When Laura and I began looking at POS systems, we wanted to fix what we saw as a horribly inefficient process, regardless of if it was how everyone else did it.  That led us to look at table side ordering.  This is a fairly new thing that you may have seen around in different markets.  The premise is simple, put the POS in the server’s hands.  This is what we have done.  We chose a company called AccuPOS that makes and Android based POS system that can be ran on any Android tablet.  This greatly reduces the time it takes to receive your drink from the time when you order it.  When the server shows up at your table and you tell them what you want, the server will enter it directly into their tablet.  This will then immediately print a ticket for the bar tender letting them know to pour your drink.  By the time the server has visited their other tables and makes it back to the bar, your order is ready!  The drinks than can be delivered straight to you!  This should allow us to be at least 50% more efficient than using a traditional POS system.  We are hoping that quicker delivery of drinks on top of quality servers and staff will make for one of the best customer experiences you have ever had in a bar or restaurant!

This is just one of the many efficiencies we designed into our build out.  Laura and I are hoping that each and every efficiency adds to the overall enjoyment our customers will have at our Tap House.

May all of your beers be tasty!

Nate
HighPlainsTapHouse
“Why go to a bar in Denver, when you can go to a Tap House in Littleton?”
  posted: October 11, 2013
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Nate's Current Beer Rotation

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Nate's Current Beer Rotation

So I have fallen in love with the liquor stores that offer build your own six packs from singles.  Our friends over at Chatfield Wine and Spirits offer this fun, as well as Tipsy's liquor world.

So this is what I am currently in love with... and yes I have a fickle heart.  This weeks love might be next weeks fond memory.

First off, I have been drinking a lot of New Belgium's Abbey Ale.  Every since Dayton from NB turned me onto this beer I have been in love.  Fantastic Belgium style ale with an amazing mouth feel and a wonderful body that just keep me coming back for more.  On almost every sip I tell myself what an amazing beer!  Little known fact - this is NB first ever beer that they brewed.  Get some!

Haven't really settled into the Fall or Winter beers yet... still running around in flip flops.  With that said, I just tried an amazing Pilsner for the first time a couple of nights ago by Paulaner.  Of course, anyone who knows beer, knows Paluaner.  They make some fantastic beers.  Their pilsner is no exception; it is amazing.  Really crisp, with a strong Pilsner bite, that would go amazing on a hot day.

Bard's Beer.  Gluten-free!  I tried this beer on a whim as I needed one more beer to round out my 6 pack.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This beer is brewed with Sorghum, a type of grass.  This clean drinking beer has a wonderful side note of almost peat.  Adds a nice touch to a clean finish and makes for a really drinkable, fun beer!  For all of you who have sworn off beer because of gluten, come back to the fold and enjoy a Bard's!

Magic Hat #9.  This beer is really hard for me to decide what I like about it...  I just like it.  They call it a not quite pale ale, but I don't really know what that means.  It strikes me as a nice medium bodied drink that adds some interesting nuances without anything jumping out at you.  What you get is a fun beer that you can't quite put your finger on...  Maybe it has crack in it, as I just keep buying it.

Telluride's Face Down Brown - this is just an amazing brown beer.  Takes the heavy duty brown and balances it with nice hop action and really leads to a superbly balanced beer that just goes great anytime you feel like a brown.  Definite recommendation if you like browns and haven't had it.

Finally, and this is just strange, I really like the Vietnamese beer Saigon.  Hard to find, but we get it at our favorite Pho places.  This beer is great because it seems to combine two of my favorite things... beer and Saki.  This beer is made with rice as the grain, and thus give is a clean drinkable finish with just a hint of that Saki not quite vinegar bite.  I could just drink these all day.  So tasty.

Quite a strange list, I agree but everything on there is tasty and well worth including in your own six pack.

Stay tuned.  Next time - Super Efficiency using Tablets to put in your order table side.

May all of your beers be tasty!

Nate
HighPlainsTapHouse
"Why go to a bar in Denver, when you can go to a Tap House in Littleton?"

posted: October 7, 2013
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State of the Art Beer Delivery System

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How to build a State of the Art Beer Deilvery System

I imagine everyone that is reading this has seen a beer poured from a keg via a draft handle.  What goes into getting the beer from the keg to the beer faucet?  The answer to that question can be very simple, to very complex depending on the setup of the bar.  In many cases the beer is being taken from coolers far away from the tap handles and travels along a series of tubing to reach the handle.  The main problem with this setup is that the longer the runs of tubing the more turbulent the beer becomes.  I am sure we have all seen many beers poured where the head takes up half the glass and the server has to then overflow the beer into the drain to get the appropriate amount of head on a beer.  This over foaming is due directly to the length of the tubing from the keg to the handle and the temperature of the beer in the line during the time it travels, and sits in the line waiting to be poured into a glass.  This is very wasteful, and also leads to a poor head retention and a flat beer.  This problem is almost always due to temperature fluxuation in the beer from the cooler to the handle.  Every time the beer changes temperature from the temperature it was stored, CO2 is released from the liquid.  This CO2 collects in the line and causes foaming and wasted/flat beer.  Often times, this problem is basically un-solvable due to the distance and lack of temperature control available to the system as a whole.  Depending on who installs the system, you can run a glycol chiller with the lines that greatly helps with controlling temperature in the line and thus helps with better poured beer.  This system is complex and takes a special chiller and setup, etc.

Rather than have to fight with poor pouring beer, we chose to design our system literally from the ground up.  As soon as we had our space signed for, Laura and I brought in Buck from Thirstaid.net.  Everyone I had talked to in the industry recommended Buck; from people who had their systems designed by him, to people who have had their systems fixed by him, they all highly recommended Buck.  With this recommendation, I brought Buck in and asked him how he would design the perfect keg delivery system.  The first step he said was to store the beer at 27-28 degrees.  This allows for better beer by allowing more CO2 to be dissolved into the beer.  This means a better carbonated beer, with better head retention and better overall flavor.  This is a little counter intuitive as you would think the beer would freeze, but since the liquid is under pressure and contains alcohol the freezing point is much lower.  This temperature alone creates a challenge for the beer delivery system build out, as everyone thinks you’re crazy and quotes you a refrigerator instead of a freezer.  In the end we decided to have our freezer built from scratch.  This allowed us the size and placement necessary to follow the rest of Buck’s recommendations.  Buck’s second recommendation was to have the freezer as close to the tap handles as possible.  Along with that, Buck told us that it was vital to carry that 28 degree beer all the way to the tap shank (part where the beer comes out).  This is an interesting problem that can lead to some serious design challenges.  The main problem is that if a beer travels through any sort of drywall, insulation, or any other wall or barrier, the temperature changes and you get beer foaming.  So how do you get the shortest beer lines possible, and keep the beer at 28 degrees all the way to the shank?  Simple, you design the tap wall directly into the side of the freezer.  So this is what we did.  We literally built the cooler directly behind the wall where the taps are located.  Along with that, we actually cut a foot high channel out of the cooler so that our custom made stainless steel tap wall and tray were actually a part of the wall of the cooler.  This saves us the problem of having our beer lines go through any sort of wall, insulation, etc.  So from the keg, through the line all the way till the beer is coming out of the faucet is always 28 degrees.  And since all the kegs are directly behind the tap wall, the longest run of beer hose is less than 10 total feet.
This setup will allow us to pour a perfect beer that will actually come out of the tap with no loss of CO2 and with no head!  To allow us to add a head, we will be installing specialty beer shanks that allow us to actually create a tight head to any level we desire.  This will allow us to pour rich, fragrant and great tasting beer with almost no loss.

Amazing what you can come up with when you design the system from the top down!  Just one of the innovations that I believe will help us live up to our motto of Top Taps in Town!

May all of your beers be tasty!

Nate
High Plains Tap House
"Why go to a bar in Denver, when you can go to a Tap House in Littleton?"
 
  posted: October 1, 2013
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Cumalative Update

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Cumalative Update:

Coming Soon! - We are within 6 weeks!  Just keep your fingers crossed that we don't hit any major snags!

Glass ware for beer and wine have been picked.  We are going to have 6 oz pours for wine, and 4oz, 8oz and 16 oz pours for beers.  All beers will be avaialble in the 4oz size.  Beers over 8% ABV will be served in an 8oz pour.  The glasses are fun and should be enjoyable to drink fine liquids from.

Colors are picked.  We have the floors, furniture, bar counter, etc. all picked out color wise.  We are shooting for a modern home away from home look with warm colors and nice contrasts.

Beers on Draft are pretty set, prices are being finalized and last minute adjustments are being made.  Bottles may change up a bit.  I don't think I want to carry Corona, as lets be honest, it is awful.  So there may be a few changes in the bottle line up before we get there.

Hiring is going full swing.  We are talking with canidates this week.

Furniture and Equipment are being ordered this week.  Our furniture will be fun and comfortable with a nice theme throughout.  We can't wait to show it off!

Muralist and decorator working on designing our main wall!  Will be fun when it is done.

The next update will be on our State of the Art beer delivery setup.  So stay tuned.

May all your beers be tasty!

Nate
High Plains Tap House
"Why go to a bar in Denver, when you can go to a Tap House in Littleton?" posted: September 25, 2013
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