Madison Magazine June-July 2019 - Page 13

Brandon Davisson takes a sip of his beer while Mike Herakovic tastes his food at the Richmond Beer House. everyone’s name who walks in. He said his favorite part about working at the bar is getting to know the customers, whom Gibson said they don’t even refer to as patrons. “We call them family,” Gibson said. “We’ve got customers that when they walk in, I’ve already got their beer poured, because I know what the get every time. As soon as they sit down, I set the beer down. They’re like, ‘This is why I come back here’,” he explained. Gibson said most of their family, especially new people who come in, are amazed to learn Gibson and Winhold are the own- ers. “We’re sitting there, we’re talking to them, we’re joking, we’re cutting up, and they’re like, ‘Well how long have you guys been bartenders?’” Gibson said. “And we’re like, ‘Oh no, we own the place.’ They’re like, ‘Get out of here. You guys don’t even act like owners’.” Most nights, Winhold will even go out and sit with customers as Gibson stays behind the bar. And one of the things their customers have been asking for is food, so about a month and a half ago, Gibson and Winhold added food to the business’s offerings, which happened almost by accident. “So we had a late night one night,” Gibson said. “This dude (Winhold) made a burger that he called the garbage burger, and it was just a hodge podge of black bean and other stuff, and the burger turned out amazing. I was like, ‘Dude, we got to put this at the bar somehow’.” The two continued to weigh options and just decided to do it. The food options started out as a brat and a burger, and origi- nally, they wanted it to be more about the brat. “But we made the burger, the Beerhouse Burger, cream cheese, jalepeno stuffed burger with jam and pico on a (toasted) bun, and people went crazy for it. … After that, it was a no-brainer,” Gibson said. The part that makes him scratch his head, though, is that Win- hold, who created the burger, is vegan. But because he’s vegan, that means the bar also has a vegan brat customers can enjoy. Additionally, all the food served at the business is made in air- fryers or in an oven, so it doesn’t come out greasy. And Gibson and Winhold are constantly working on new ideas to possibly add to the menu. Food or otherwise, the two aren’t hesitant when it comes to trying new things, which is the exact reason they’ve been able to Craft Beer concoctions “So we do beer concoctions, where we mix the craft beer with other craft beer,” Winhold said. There’s a lot of reasons Winhold and Gibson make these concoctions. “Craft beer has a lot of the same properties as liquor,” Gibson said. “And the beautiful thing about craft beer is it don’t cost as much as liquor, and the hangover’s way less.” Take a Cider Boys Blackberry Cider, use one whole cider, and throw in some Lexington Brewing Co. Vanilla Barrel, Gibson said. You only want maybe two ounces of the Vanilla Barrel, and it tastes exactly like a Sweettart. Another concoction that Winhold recommends is a half and half mixture of Lexington Brewing Co.’s Bour- bon Barrel mixed with its Blackberry porter. “It’s like french vanilla ice cream on a blackberry pie,” he said. “It’s just delicious.” They also both really enjoy what they say tastes like creamed coffee, which involves a “good coffee stout,” Gibson said, and some Vanilla Barrel. Closer to Thanksgiving, what’s really popular at the Richmond Beer House, is using a pumpkin beer with about two ounces of vanilla-flavored craft beer and add- ing a sprinkle of brown sugar. “It’s liquid pumpkin pie, basically,” Gibson said. He said concoctions are “one of them things we’ve started doing that kind of turned the craft beer world around here on its head.” realize the one-year anniversary of the bar. “If you believe in something, it will sell,” Gibson said. “If you give 110 percent, and you come in, and you put your heart into something every single day, it has no other choice but to do good.” Winhold agreed. “If we fail, we fail,” he said. “But really, the only way you’re going to fail is if you give up, and we don’t have that in us. We’re too stubborn. … “You’ve got to take some risks into consideration. You need to know what could happen. But once you actually confront those fears, risks, they’re really not so scary anymore. Therefore, it’s OK.” As Gibson put it, “If you don’t fall down, how do you know what getting up feels like?” And even if Gibson and Winhold fall down, they more or less look at it as a learning experience. “You’re going to do things that maybe aren’t the best, but you have to just get back up and keep going,” Winhold said. “That’s where we’re looking to find our success, is just in that trench. Digging for gold through a trench.” Gibson said so far, it’s paid off for them. “It’s kind of magical … ,” he said. “We’re just like anyone else, I guess, trying to make our own way, our own path in life. And along the way, if we can help the people who live around us and our community, that’s just an added bonus.”