I’ve been moonlighting at Rocky River Brewing Co., where I worked as a cook back in high school and summers in college. It’s been a weird and awesome thrill to return to the root of it all, the backdrop of some wildly formative years. The Brew Co. is one of my favorite places in the world, and working the line again has been a great experience so far.

This is the place where I was turned on to Phish, early Modest Mouse, Atmosphere and much more – to say nothing of the late-night antics that studded those halcyon summers. (This was also back when Glenn worked there as well, and our weekends were kickstarted with sly beers from the bar and smokes out back.) I started off washing dishes at 16 – I was hired by former Faith No More singer Chuck Mosley and started working that same day — and by 17 I was cooking, surrounded by a fascinating group of people living lives far different than mine. This place – along with my early work as a journalist – is where I found an immense source of social confidence at that age.

I post this to say: If you’ve never been, you should stop by for a couple beers and some dynamite food. The owners were onto the microbrewery thing well before Cleveland became synonymous with the genre. Tell them Sandy sent you. You’ll find yourself at home in no time.

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