RICHMOND, Va. — Thanks to his ability to read context clues, a bartender at Garden Grove correctly deduced that a customer was planning to order the brewery’s Valentine’s Day themed beer, Sadness Stout, before he even got his order in.
“When I saw the gentleman with a thick neckbeard walk into the brewery, I just grabbed a glass and started pouring,” bartender Nick Murray said. “He took it from me, sat at the bar quietly, and spent most of his time here just looking at his phone with a dull stare.”
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The brewers at Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery, located in Carytown, decided to create Sadness Stout in honor of the many single patrons that typically frequent the brewery every Valentine’s Day.
“Most other breweries are doing beers related to love, but we wanted to do something more realistic,” head brewer Justin Vincent commented, adding that a stout was an obvious choice given the brooding undertones of its darker color and savory taste. “Valentine’s Day may be about romance and companionship for couples, but for single people it’s about hopelessness, despair, and listening to The Smiths all day.”
“This year we wanted to remind people that, even though you may be uncomfortably obsessed with your cat, you matter too,” he continued.
To help bartenders quickly identify customers interested in Sadness Stout, the tasting room managers created a list of key patron types to look out for on Valentine’s Day. The demographic descriptions included, but were not limited to, customers who keep their sunglasses on inside, wear fedoras, or quote the film “Borat.”
Maria Alverta, who was visiting Garden Grove with some friends, witnessed the event and agreed that the neckbeard was a dead giveaway for what was about to happen. “The guy shuffled in, didn’t say a single word, and made eye contact with the bartender. The bartender looked back at him with this gleam in his eye that said, ‘I know’ and served him the stout.”
At press time, another employee was seen pouring a pint of the Who Needs Love When You Have a PS2 Porter for a grown man who had just come through the door wearing a pair of Heelys.