Monday, February 10, 2014

Molly Gunn: A Lady Who Loves Beer

An Atlanta native and long-time resident, Molly Gunn made her dream of becoming a restaurant owner a reality in October of 2008 when, along with husband and co-owner Nick Rutherford (also executive chef, vintage list curator, and "ultimate handyman"), The Porter Beer Bar was born. 

There's almost nowhere I'd rather be for a weekend brunch and beer in Atlanta, and with an extensive menu of draft and bottled beers (over 44 beers on draft at last count) there's a good chance you'll find yourself right at home with a plate and a pint no matter where your hometown lies (I personally consider relocating at least once a week just so I can sit at the bar more often). 

With a cookbook in the works for Summer 2014 which promises to include items from their impressive specials menu, as well as bits of personal history, Molly and Nick have their future goals set on making The Porter an institution. If you ask me, they're already there. 

Read more about Molly Gunn and her plans for 2014 in this month's focus on women and beer in Atlanta.

Tell us about you. Where are you from? How did you end up in Atlanta? Do you think this is your forever home? When you're not drinking beer, you're...
I'm originally from Atlanta and went to school near Little 5 Points, so maybe it was destiny that I open a beer bar there. Atlanta is definitely home, though I loved living in other places, now I'm happy to just visit. When I'm not drinking beer I'm drinking coffee, what else is there to drink?
Tell us about The Porter. How did it get started? What makes it special? Are there any unique challenges to being a woman in the bar/restaurant/beer scene?
The Porter was born out of my long time dream to own a restaurant. It wasn't until we found our spot in Little Five Points that Nick (my husband) and I realized it should be a beer bar. The Porter is special because not only do we have an amazing selection of drafts, bottles and vintage beers, but Nick's (who is also Chef & co-owner) food is amazing. Our specials change every day and Nick gets really creative with them.
Favorite spot(s) in Atlanta to grab a brew?
Of course the Brick Store, but if I don't feel like going to Decatur you can frequently find me at Manuel's which is my bar away from my bar. They have a pretty good craft beer selection and always something tasty on draft.
New brew loves? Old favorites?
Old Favorites that I would pick to drink for the rest of my life: Gouden Carolus Classic, Great Divide Hibernation, Lagunitas Sucks, Sinebrychoff Porter, Cantillon Fou' Foune and Founder's Pale Ale. New loves: Orpheus, the brewery isn't opening until 2014, but I've had some preview tastes and this brewery is going to put Atlanta solidly on the map of any beer tourist.
Future goals/plans/dreams, either beer-related or not...
I would like The Porter to become an institution; a place that's always there for folks. A place to celebrate, to drown your sorrows, or just see the crew. We are not looking to dominate the beer bar scene and open 20 more Porters or any other kind of restaurant. I would just like this one to be the best bar that we can possibly run. That being said we are working on a Porter Beer Bar Cookbook, so that will be fun once we finish it!
If you could have one beer with anywhere and with anyone you like (past or present) who/where would you raise your glass and why?
There are so many awesome writers who were also good drinkers that I'd love to spend a night drinking with, Hemingway, James Joyce, even Stephen King before he quit. That's a tough question. Definitely a writer though, they always have amazing inner worlds that you have to peel back the curtain of sobriety to explore.
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