Podcast: Session 43 – How to Build a Kick-Ass Craft Beer Bar


Building a craft beer destination has many facets. Clearly, good beer is at the top of the list. But not just good beer…a wide selection of good beer to ensure there’s something for everyone.

What’s the food strategy? Statistics have shown that people who order food tend to order 1-2 more drinks, thus increasing their length of stay and driving their tab higher. So giving some options for grub is always a good play.

What kind of experience is your staff delivering? Are they friendly and knowledgeable? Are they making consumers feel welcome? Are they offering every guest beer to go in the form of a crowler, growler, 4-pack, and/or 6-pack? They should be…because customers are more prone to take something to go when prompted.

Across the world, many people have built craft beer destinations. All have their own unique dynamics, all seek to deliver a great experience. For this session of the Breaking Brews Podcast, we are going to the birthplace of Breaking Brews to take a deep dive into what it takes to build a kick-ass craft beer bar!

In Session 43 of the Breaking Brews Podcast, host Jason Cercone is joined by Mike Sukitch and Cassie Cormack of Mike’s Beer Bar in the North Shore of Pittsburgh. Mike’s is located right across the street from PNC Park and is in the heart of the highly-visited area of town that features sports (PNC and Heinz Field), concerts (Stage AE), hotels, dining, and more. Mike purchased the bar formerly known as Beerhead…and formerly known as The Beer Market before that…at the close of 2018 and has transformed the bar from a hot pre-event destination to a 7-days-a-week destination that everyone needs to check out.

Mike’s upped their tap count from 50 to 80. Those beers + what’s in the cooler = over 500 beers in the house at any given time! They’ve added pre-mixed cocktails to their menu. Local ciders and meads are also available. They recently installed a kitchen (up until September of 2019, they did not serve food) that allows them to provide grub for their patrons. They have live music on the weekends.

In brief, they’ve taken major strides to create a killer destination that emphasizes great beer, great people, and great times.

Throughout this session, you’ll learn how Mike and Cassie train their staff to deliver exceptional experiences, how they manage the large volume of beer under their roof, how they’ve established great relationships with local breweries and brewery representatives, and much, much more.

Check out Mike’s online and, of course, in person whenever a trip to the North Shore is in your plans.

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MUSIC CREDIT: Theme music and music clips for the Breaking Brews Podcast – Hellfire by Adam Drake and Tom Jenkins, licensed via www.audionetwork.com

SEASON II SPONSOR: Season II of the Breaking Brews Podcast is brought to you by Drunk Swag Source. You can get all your merch needs covered by visiting www.drunkswagsource.com. Use promo code BREAKINGBREWS at checkout and save 10% on any order of $200 or more!


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