Meet the Team – An Interview with Kevin Lalock
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What is your position, or role, at 12 Gates Brewing Company?
Partner and Tap Room Manager
How long have you been with the Company?
Joined the 12 Gates Team in January of 2015
What does it take to run a Tap Room?
It takes a good personality – we meet many new people, and they need to feel welcomed when they are here.
It takes being able to think quick, and not panic – sometimes surprises walk through the door, and you do not have the proper amount of staff to service the guests.
It takes being able to wear many hats – you need to know how to cook, tend bar, be a waiter, be a janitor, be a host, be a busboy, be a dish washer, and many more things. Employees get sick, injured, or resign, and you have to be able to perform the jobs of those employees.
You need a lot of time – Many aspects of this job is hands on work, which can take you away from other managerial duties until a later time.
How did you become interested in working for a brewery?
I’ve been in the bar and restaurant industry for 30 years, and I’ve been drinking craft beer for 26 of those years, so it was a no-brainer. When I was able to be a part of 12 Gates, I knew we could create something that would be great for Buffalo.
What’s your favorite beer on tap right now at 12 Gates?
If I don’t say the Nut Brown Ale, Scott will kill me because I have been nagging him for months to brew one, but as of this moment I have not had a pint yet. I would say the West Coast Style IPA is my favorite.
If you had to choose a favorite beer other than 12 Gates, what would it be and why?
That is a tough one!! It depends on the style of beer too.
IPA’s I would say Bear Republic Racer 5 and Alpine Brewing Nelson
Stouts – North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin and Dogfish Head Miles Davis Bitch’s Brew
Porter – Maine Beer Company King Titus
Brown Ale – Smutty Nose Old Brown Dog Ale and Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale.
Why, you ask? Because they are damn good!!
What is it about the tap room that attracts all these people?
I think it is the surprise they get when they walk through the door for the first time. The inside is quite nicer than the unappealing exterior.
What do you think stands out in this Tap Room as opposed to other local breweries?
The customer must go on a quest to find us. We are tucked away in an uninviting location, but having to find us is part of the fun! Once you do find the tap room, you can reward yourself with a pint.
What do you love to do on cold winter days in Buffalo?
I love to build snow forts and have snowball fights with my 12 year old son, if I’m not holed up in the house having a good beer. Of course I might have a beer while playing outside with my son.
What talent or hobby do you have that might surprise most people?
That’s a loaded question!! I happen to be quite the cook.
Who’s your favorite band and why?
Elvis Presley, even though he is not a band. I’ve enjoyed his music for many years; it was sitting in my sister’s old bedroom at my mother’s house with my mother and brother, having a great conversation while listening to Elvis. That moment has a very special place in my heart that I will always cherish.
What was the first concert you saw and where?
In 1985, I saw Genesis on the “Mama” tour at the Aud here in Buffalo.
Who has given you the most inspiration within your life? How did they help you?
I would say that my mother has given me the most inspiration. As a single mother with 3 children, she had the strength to work hard and move on with life. Through her strength she raised us to be who we are today, and showed me what hard work can accomplish. Life isn’t fair, and it can knock you down, but you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go on. I can only hope I make her proud!