Oamaru Mail reporter Jessie Waite has been spending a few hours on a Friday with different people in the community learning more about their jobs. Last Friday, Jessie joined the team at the Sports Central Brewhouse.
Learning the art of pouring a good beer was on my life’s bucket list and after the trusting team at Sports Central Brewhouse allowed me behind the bar, I can now cross it off the list.
There was hardly a need for introductions when I walked into the bar last Friday, being a regular of sorts over the weekend but when Alene Kitto asked me how to pour a beer, I looked at her blankly.
After a tutorial from John McGeown, I was confidently pouring a Carlsberg, which I was told was the most difficult to pour.
It wasn’t long after I poured only my first beer, that I was serving my first customer.
Adding a tilt to the handle, I pulled back the beer tap and let the golden liquid pour.
It was as if I was born to work behind a bar.
Proudly wearing Sports Central Brewhouse t-shirt, I certainly looked the part and was flattered when a number of customers thought I actually worked there – which meant I can’t have been that terrible.
I started my shift at 4pm and by 5.30pm, it begun to fill up.
In waves, customers lined up at the bar requesting a drop and when the bar got quiet, there was empties to collect, food to deliver and benches to be wiped down.
Manager Justin Ludlow said the social aspect of the operation is the highlight, but said there’s two sides to a coin.
“You see the positives and the blemishes when it comes to that,” he said.
”There’s a huge amount of responsibility on your shoulders.”
There are seven staff at the bar, including door men.
“It’s really good to see staff and the young ones that come into the industry develop,” he said.
The industry is exciting said Mr Ludlow and there is no shortage of challenges.
“There’s always something happening with food and beverage,” he said.
“As it changes you’ve got to change with it.
“You can’t be stuck in yesteryear.”
It is Mr Ludlow’s first management role of a bar and he said he is loving it.
Thank you also to Hannah and Edel Madden who were there when I had a question and made learning about the role a breeze.