- August 22, 2016
Lots of beer folk know Bob Barrar makes great beer. His nickname after all is medal man because of all the awards his Russian Imperial Stout earned during his tenure at Iron Hill in Media. But did you know that his favorite Eagle is running back Wilbert Montgomery? Montgomery, the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher, is described as blunt with a work ethic that Philadelphia sports fans demand of their heroes.
Turns out, Barrar’s choice of childhood hero speaks volumes about his dedication to community and the art of brewing.
D.L. Isn’t Wilbert Montgomery the guy who rushed for 194 yards in the 1984 NFC Championship game against the Dallas Cowboys?
B.B. Yeah. He’s my favorite because he understands that to play in the big leagues, it’s all about hard work and attention to detail. And one day, I saw him quoted in a newspaper when he was the running back coach for Cleveland and it blew me away.
D.L. Why? What did he say?
B.B. It went something like this… Each day you’ve got to be ready to go. You have to play sore and banged up. And if you don’t, you really can’t play.
D.L. So Montgomery didn’t romanticize what’s it’s like to play in the NFL?
B.B. Nope, but that doesn’t mean it’s not cool or worthwhile. It’s like being a brewer. Every step in the process is critical. There are no shortcuts. You don’t stop and eat lunch when it’s time to check the wort.
D.L. Since you grew up in Glenolden, have you reconnected with old friends? What do they think about your awards?
B.B. Once in a while, a guy that I haven’t seen in 15 years will walk through the door and order a Delco Lager. So the answer is yes. Our taproom is like a neighborhood bar, a place where locals can hang. They can even bring their own food – as long as they are willing to share. Hopefully, they’ll come back because they like the beer, not because of the medals.
D.L. So what was it like to win your 31st medal – a gold for your Russian Imperial Stout, at the Great American Beer Festival this past October?
B.B. Oh, it was nice. I’d like to keep it with the other 30 medals, but I don’t remember where I put them.
D.L. You don’t know where your medals are?
B.B. They’re somewhere in my basement. That much I know. For me, hearing somebody say ‘Mmmm’ after taking a swig of a beer I made with my own hands is the best award going.
Read the full interview here: http://origlio.com/sites/default/files/sidebar_callout/draught_lines_holiday_2016_final.pdf