As the “Cheers” theme goes, sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. Sometimes you also want to go to a place that feels familiar.
I stopped in at Cumberland Brews in the Highlands recently and was comforted to find that the place hasn’t changed a bit in 16 years. I hadn’t been in at least a year, but it still felt like home with the familiar blackboard bearing the beer list, the small brewing system facing those who assemble at the bar (as I like to do), and the familiar mural of brewing equipment on the opposite wall.
It reminded me of long sessions in the early 2000s, often upstairs in the “lounge” area, and sometimes out front on the sidewalk to enjoy warm, sunny summer days. It also reminded me of a Thanksgiving I spent alone not so long ago, eating the turkey-and-the-fixing special (as I recall, it was 10 bucks, and that included a pint of beer) while watching football.
Of course, there’s the vintage beer can collection in the men’s bathroom, another comforting sight. I chatted with owner Mark Allgeier as I sipped a Chimney Rock IPA – a medium-bodied, but meaty and bitter brew that will put hair on a man’s face – and related to him how happy I was the place had never lost its Irish-pub-meets-lumberjack-man-cave vibe. That’s when the lovely Claire, one of the brewery’s original bartenders, piped in and said, “I’m still here, too, after 16 years.”
And thank goodness for that.