Barcade's Joe Stickney Talks Craft Beer and the Best Video Games to Play While Drinking
Could there be a better dude bar than Barcade in Williamsburg? Not only is it filled with vintage video games, it also boasts 25 beers on tap and the official Good Beer Seal for carrying quality American craft beers. If you're not a beer geek, don't worry, the staff here is very nonjudgmental, including four-year Barcade veteran Joe Stickney. We talk to Joe about what it's like working in one of the neighborhood's most beloved beer bars.
First, I have to ask you what your favorite video game here is.
You know, I don't play most of these games anymore, but I love Berzerk. What I like about it is that you travel from level to level and most of the action happens in the first three seconds of each level. So, for the rest of the time you can kind of cruise through it and take a sip. It's a good beer-drinking game. I like Q*bert, too, because you can play that one-handed while drinking.
What kind of crowd do you get here? It seems that with the beer and video games, you'd get quite the mix.
It's definitely a hybrid. It's for people who just want to play video games, it's for people who just want to get drunk off high-alcohol beer, it's for people who really appreciate good beer. It runs the gamut. We've got a pretty relaxed crowd. We had some fights in the past when we had a pool table, so we took that out.
Oh, yeah, what's the craziest thing anyone has ever done on your watch?
We had a night in here once where it was just me and like three customers and there was this one guy, he was playing Ms. Pac-Man, and out of nowhere he just turned around and threw his pint glass across the room. The weird thing is that he then turned around and started playing Ms. Pac-Man again like nothing happened.
Was he mad that he was losing at Ms. Pac-Man?
No, he didn't seem mad or anything. I think maybe he was just on drugs. We walked over and were like "What the fuck, man, you've got to go!" As he was leaving he kept on saying that he was Miss America over and over again. I have no idea what that was about.
For such a well-regarded beer bar, you get a lot of people in here that aren't necessarily beer geeks. How do you steer them toward ordering a good beer?
I ask them what kind of beer that they like and if they say they like anything from Coors Light to Bud Light, I give them the simplest, most palatable beer we have on tap. If they seem like they're a little more into beer, I just give them one my personal favorites, as long as it's in the style that they seem to like.
What are you liking right now?
On tap right now, I like the Crossroads IPA. It's really nice for the summer; it's just a nice dry, hoppy IPA. The Anderson Valley Gatlin Damnosis is also really tasty -- very sour and complex.