Quarter Celtic kicks it up a notch with plans for a unique new location

We asked for photos, we got meme madness. As if we expected anything less. (All photos courtesy of Quarter Celtic)

With the bright spot of the GABF medal winner Kill or be Kilt just behind them, Quarter Celtic looks to keep the happiness rolling this coming year. I was joined by co-owners Brady and Ror McKeown over a pint of delicious stout (the darkness, it did call to me), and we took a ramble down memory lane, and then peeked out into the great beyond of what we all hope to be good things to come.

Solo: Look back look ahead from 2022 to 2023.

Ror: Looking back, obviously one of the highlights was getting another Great American Beer Festival medal. It’s always exciting and that one was particularly gut-wrenching because it didn’t happen until really late in the awards. But also, I love it because its my favorite beer as long as Irish Handcuffs isn’t on tap. Now I’m torn, it’s like I’m cheating on one for the other.

Solo: Well, you’re not really, you’re enjoying the other seasonal strong ale!

Ror: It’s been fun, we have great group of regulars at both locations, it has a good feel to it now. We have a bunch of smiling faces, so that we are going to take into ’23 and just keep building on it. We may not have the largest social media reach, but the guys who follow us love it, and they’re the ones that are keeping us in business.

Coming up this summer, we’re going to use our second taproom license. This one is going to be interesting, because it’s like a little mini move, so by this summer we will be out at Kramer Fields, the soccer fields they just built down off of Broadway next to Eclipse Aviation. So they’re already doing clubs and everything else, and it’s an all-ages venue, but they also have adult things as well. We already have a bunch of regulars who are excited for us to be out there. Steve Kramer, who owns it, put out some feelers and (we) said, “If we do this, what do you want to see there?” Number one was a brewpub, and number two were real bathrooms. So he has put in real bathrooms and (then) we’ll be slinging beers out of an old APS portable. So it’s really going to be coming full circle.

It’s going to be interesting because it’ll be exclusively patio seating, because with the way it’s set up, you can see all three fields, and then he’s going to have a deck up there for more viewing. So you’ll just come by, we’ll serve you out of the window, the same setup as at most sports venues. It’ll be nice for us because we can showcase our beer, we don’t need to staff it heavily, (and) business wise I love that. It’s kind of a fun little thing, we’re both kind of taking a risk on each other, we’re burning a license to give it a shot and he wants us when he could’ve picked anyone. So that’s kind of nice. We’ll see how it works out. We know there’s going to be some growing pains in the beginning but we’re hoping that it comes out to be something fun and something to look forward to. 

Solo: Cool, this ties in with the soccer theme that you already have going here. 

Blessed be the Irish Handcuffs Imperial Stout.

Ror: I went out the first week he was open and saw a ton of our regulars for the San Mateo location out there.

Brady: So they can get us even when they’re not here.

Ror: And, Brady’s busy knocking out some beers for World Beer Cup right now. We’re also gearing up for St Patrick’s Day, which falls on a Friday this year. It’s going to be crazy. Some of our old-school original employees still have a little post traumatic from that first year or two when it hit the Friday and the Saturday. We’ve done a little better, at least at the San Mateo location, since we have the patio. We break up the food and the beer into two separate spots. The Heights is still one area, so it does get a little more packed. We are looking forward to it, this will be San Mateo’s seventh year and the taproom’s fourth year. 

Solo: Exciting times. 

Ror: We’ve got a great group of employees (and) fantastic customers, Brady makes phenomenal beer, the food is yummy, it’s just a fun hangout here. If people just want to grab their crew or a friend, it’s a great spot to just come hang out at both locations, and get to have a great time. 

Solo: Yeah, we do fondly refer to this location as the Winchester for a reason, when the zombies come, we’ll be here to the end. Any other things you’re looking forward to or anything that was particularly challenging this past year?

Ror: We’re looking forward to a few collabs potential or otherwise coming up. Harmon Lane is one, maybe a Dark Side collab later this year as well, and a few others which are always fun. As for challenges, I think we had the same issues that any other brewery and restaurant came across, but we’re not in that mindset, we’re just looking forward and that was in the past. That’s the past, we’re not dwelling on it. There’s things we can’t change, so we’re not going to focus on that, and we are going to focus on things we can change, find any ways we can have more fun event type things here. We are definitely catering to all of our employees and regulars for Christmastime parties, employee parties, and the like. We want our employees happy to be coming to work, and our regulars happy because our employees love coming to work, so that’s where our focus is right now. 

Solo: It’s about all we can do at this point, there’s no sense of dwelling on the hardships.

Ror: I’m like a schnauzer, I have about like 10 black hairs around my beard, I don’t want them to turn white also. I’m just not going to worry about this.   

The hijinks rarely stop at either QC location.

Here’s to that! Let us look to what we can do, what is possible, fun, a tad bit silly, and above all positive. This is the way. So head over to Quarter Celtic, enjoy the Irish Handcuffs season, and endless Kill or be Kilt season, a lovely bite to eat, catch their epic St. Patrick’s Day celebration, and let the good times roll. We will, of course, keep you all appraised about timetables and such on the forthcoming Kramer Fields taproom, and anything else that might develop this year. Until next time, keep it local, keep it silly.


— Franz Solo

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