Picture yourself on a typical day. Maybe you’re tired since you’ve been punching the clock since before the sun came up. Or perhaps you’ve been running errands all day and your morning coffee wore off hours ago. You’re calling it a day, and your thoughts are now turned towards unwinding. You need a place where the people are friendly and the beer never stops flowing.

Then, like an island paradise appearing on the ocean horizon, you spot the standard of Brew Republic, proudly flying in the steady breeze – the green star calling to you and all the other wayward travelers within its grasp. You immediately get a sense of belonging and comfort, and the troubles of today instantly become tomorrow’s problems.

You abandon your car (with your neck tie and suit jacket still inside) in one of the pre-approved parking spots and you make your way to Brew Republic’s front door. A wall of glass stares you in the face, with flags and signs notifying you that you’re in the right place. You tip your hat to the satisfied citizens in the biergarten as you pass them by and enter the tap room.

As a regular patron, you’re instantly recognized and hailed by name by the friendly bartenders and other regulars. You feel like Norm Petersen for a moment, and wonder when Cliff and Frasier will be joining you for great beers and storytelling. You find your trusty stool at the bar and glance at the chalk board to see what beers are new today – although we all know you’re going to start with your favorite reliable brew of choice. The amber ale, perhaps?

You settle in and become involved in the conversation-du-jour at the bar with the bartenders and other citizens. You peek into the brewery and find the brewers finishing off the day’s kegging. Curious, you ask the bartender what glorious beer they are brewing today, and she tells you it is the Baltic porter, which reminds you that you were going to order that as your next beer. The tap room manager launches into a long-winded explanation as to the difference between a Baltic porter and other types of porters. You realize you don’t really care, but listen politely to humor him.

There’s music playing on the radio and sports muted on the television. Some people are watching the game, but most are engaging in polite conversation and enjoying each other’s company. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot a guitar player who has begun to set up on the other side of the room. You recognize him as someone you’ve listened to before, and you remember that you enjoy his music. You may have to stay longer after all.

At this point, you realize that it’s dinner time, and if you’re going to stay for the live music, you’re going to need to eat. You pick up a menu and decide pizza sounds good, so you inform the bartender that you’d like a pizza to accompany your beer. She disappears around the corner and informs the chef of your order. You then advise a different bartender that you’d like that porter you were thinking about moments ago, and because he knows you, he doesn’t even ask if you have a tab open – he just pours your beer and adds the cost to your tab.

Now you gaze out the wall of windows and notice the sun is a lot lower outside then it was when you arrived. The colors in the sky are turning pink and purple and the streetlights have come on. That guitar player whose name you can’t remember but whose music you like is just about to start playing. Don’t worry, you’re sure he’ll introduce himself shortly and you’ll suddenly remember that you already knew his name.

Your pizza arrives just as you finish your porter, and you quickly decide to order that glorious IPA you love so much. The musician is now into his second song, the pizza is delicious and this warm atmosphere has you feeling right at home. You wish you could stay here, as opposed to going back to the real world.

As you finish your beer and pizza, you look around and realize it’s time to go. You decide to fill your growler on the way out (good thing you brought it with you) with some delicious witbier, and you also decide to pick up a sticker for your office. You say your goodbyes, pay your tab and leave the Republic behind, until the next time – which will most likely be tomorrow. As you’re driving away, you say to yourself “that sure is a great place to be.”

To the Republic (if you can keep it)… Cheers!

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