This past March we posted the following blog about being a neighborhood bar.

As we have moved past the spring and into the warmer summers months; as the patio has been opened and seated hundreds under the sunny, cloudy and starry skies of Michigan alike; and as new local flavors and concoctions, along your favorite brews are poured daily, we thought it appropriate to once again talk about the bar nearby.

There was a time your neighborhood bar served warm beer and whiskey in a local saloon. Today, craft cocktails may employ both those same ingredients to make a millennial’s favorite old fashion.

Much like today, saloons in the past were a place of social activity.  They were about more than just drinking, they were the place to hear trivia.  Today, we still use our local bars and lounges as a place for our social gatherings, and but now play trivia for free drinks or other prizes.

Saloons were every where. And why not, we didn’t have TV or Video Games to go home to!  It is estimated that by 1897 there were roughly a quarter of a millions saloons. In comparison that means there were 23 saloons for every Starbucks franchise that exists today.

The most prevalent beverage sold was beer.  Earlier americans from the Colonial era may have drank cider or rum. In the early 19th century there was a new beverage on the menu – whiskey. Today, our bars have whiskey, rye, bourbon, vodka, gin, rum (light and dark), liqueurs, aperitifs, etc, etc, etc.  Oh yea, and beer – IPA, stout, dark, Belgium…well you get the idea, we have much more to choose from.

These choices have also helped raise the local saloon to an establishment of respect. In the past, one may have said to his fellow rancher,

“Come and belly up to the bar.”

This was meant as a challenge to a fellow patron to step and ‘share’ a shot.

Today it’s simply,

“Let’s go to the bar.”

So let’s go to the bar, enjoy a drink or two, talk about the daily news, play a game of darts and remember that, even if you’re riding a horse you can still get a ticket for DUI – Drink Responsibly!