Meet the Tastemaker: Collin Castore
Bodega/Barrel and Bottle/Seventh Son Brewing Co.
By (614) MagazinePublished July 27, 2012
Background: Variety of restaurant gigs, Grateful Dead parking lot start-up, retail shop owner of now-defunct Higher Ground, Former glassblower
Education: Ohio State University
Hometown: West Lafayette, IN
Perfect beer to accompany grilled cheese: A really nice crisp tasty IPA
On being a serial entrepreneur: I am not 100 percent sure [where I got the entrepreneurial bug] … I think it was a combination of a really strong desire to be self-sufficient, to not rely on anybody for anything and always kinda thinking that if somebody else could do it, I could figure out a way to do it on my own. I also traveled around a little; I did some Grateful Dead touring in the summers during high school. I loved the travel and the music. I would sell grilled cheese in the parking lots on tour, which is why we have grilled cheese Mondays at Bodega, the dollar grilled cheese. I always kept myself busy and always wanted to do things on my own.
On beer: Beer is malt, barley, hops, and water. At the same time, it’s a definite part of the American social and cultural landscape. It’s a simple beverage that has thousands of variations and it hits nearly everyone on a level that takes away people’s pretensions. When the President had his beer summit … I think that’s one of the best things about beer, just that ability to put everyone on the same level, find a common ground.
On the glass blowing: My son is about four years old now and right around the time he was born, I ended up getting rid of all the equipment. We moved to a place that didn’t have a basement. I was going to have a little workshop in my basement, but that’s all gone. I think there’s an appreciation of the process in what I’m doing [similar to glassblowing]. I think in creating a space, an environment, you’re focusing on an artistic side.
On the best glass for beer: For most beers, a common pint is okay. We use a standard tulip glass and the shape of that glass helps release the aromas a little bit. Beers are nice because the carbonation naturally brings the aroma up to your nose when you’re drinking; it has that advantage over wine a little bit. So much of what you taste is what you smell.
On projects: I have a million ideas, but there’s not enough time in the world. I’d love to do cocktails-from-scratch, classic, artisanal cocktails … that’s fascinating to me right now. That’s something that would be fun to explore in another smaller venue somewhere in the city. Everything is moving towards a point where people are more interested in what they are actually drinking and they’re finding better versions of cocktails, more interesting cocktails, more interesting beers, they’re finding out what they actually like about wines and what the different varietals are. Even the average consumer is not just buying cab/merlot anymore – they’re looking for something a little bit different.