Ken Habenicht, beer manager at Binny’s in Buffalo Grove recommends the Binny’s New Brew of the week and breaks down why he loves being in the beer industry so much!
O’so Night Train
What made you recommend this particular brew? What’s it taste like?
We just got this in the beginning of March and it’s been a popular pick! The nose on this brew took me by total surprise. Sweet vanilla notes were very present and what can I say, I’m a big fan of Vanilla porters & stouts. There is a nice roasty, creamy, and definite coffee notes present. Has a medium body with a dark brown color.
Mhmm.. sounds yummy! We’ll be sure to give it a try! So now, a little about you! What’s your history with Binny’s and what’s the best part of the gig?
I’ve been with Binny’s for 8+ years now and I really enjoy interacting with the customers about what interests them. It’s a true pleasure to see their eyes light up when you show them some special new beer that they absolutely must try. It reminds me of when a child opens up a Christmas gift and the pure excitement that radiates out of them. I’ve heard a customer more than once say looking at our beer wall is like being a kid in a candy shop. Need I say more?
Our customers are pretty spectacular! How’d you get started working in beer?
Three things started this… I used to do beer tastings for Sam Adams way back when Sam Adams Light was a new product for them. I always got to take home free beer from whatever I didn’t sample out. You could say I was stingy on the pours knowing this fact, but could you blame me? Also, my Father has always had a taste for better beers and wine, so being around this through my life I was exposed to beers outside of the typical BMC’s (that’s short industry term for Bud, Miller, Coors if you didn’t know.) Lastly, it’s been because of how long I’ve worked for Binny’s and the exposure I’ve had to all the new beers rolling in. As a bonus, having Bob Hafenbrack as my store manager has opened my eyes to the world of beer with his extensive knowledge and working for Young’s out in the UK.
Those sound like pretty good reasons to us! BMC, huh? Thanks for the tip! Alright, so it’s just an average night hanging with friends- what’s your go-to beer?
This would have to be Modus Hoperandi from Ska Brewing. It’s everything I would expect out of an IPA and on the plus side, it’s in a can!
Good stuff! Any unique talents we should know of?
The talent that I have that always shocks everyone who knows me is how well I can dance. You would never guess that I’m even into it, but that’s where I get them all the time.
Love it! Hypothetical Question: You can only drink one kind of beer for the rest of your life… what is it?
I hope I never have to really make this decision, but if I had to pick a style, I would say an IPA. It’s the only style of beer that I would want to drink any time the of year.
Favorite part about working in the beverage industry?
Above all else, it would have to be the beer community. It is absolutely amazing how two complete strangers can sit down at a craft beer bar and become instant friends just because of beer. Before you know it, you’re engaged in an entertaining conversation that usually leads to sharing each others beers and suggesting others to try. Also, craft breweries are all about helping each other out whether it be to get your brewery up and running, by contract brewing their beer, or lending supplies or fermenters because your brewery was damaged during a storm. All in all, it’s about coming together and enjoying this great beverage we all have come to love.
You’re totally right! The beer community is a pretty fantastic one! Thanks Ken!
To contact Ken and learn more about his store, follow him at @BGCraftBeer!