Swig Swag: Al’s Bar Supply

Written by on June 15, 2015 in Swig Swag - No comments

The guys of Al’s Bar Supply said it best when they said that craft is no longer a fad, it’s a trend. A trend that is still very much growing. The world of craft beer, cocktails, distilleries and bars is clearly one that we support here at Drink Up Columbus so I was happy to sit down with Zach Pappas and Alex Calfee, co-owners of Al’s Bar Supply.

The company, in short, sells handcrafted bar products such as coasters and bottle openers. However, at $50 a pop, these aren’t your standard bottle openers. Every product at Al’s Bar Supply is sourced and made right here in Columbus with glasswork done by OSU grads and wood sourced from a local studio. So while they are well aware of the mid-high price range of their products, they are also aware of their market: craft drinkers that want to bring quality and design into their homes.

“There are tons of these growler places open, you have tons of these craft cocktails places but there really hasn’t been a consumer product company that compliments that whole handcrafted scene,” explained Pappas. “There isn’t anything that compliments the things that take time to make.”

The goal was to start small, launch a few products and gauge consumer reaction. They currently offer four products; reclaimed beer glassware, a solid brass bottle opener, stainless steel coasters with a walnut holder and stainless steel shot glasses.

“There is a fine line between being too precious,” said Alex Calfee.

It can definitely be hard to create and sell products in the craft scene without going over the top, a sentiment I think many of us recognize. The guys at Al’s Bar Supply home to find that balance as they grow, making their products approachable but still high quality.

“If you want that home experience that is thoughtful and someone’s putting a $20,000 bar in their house house, you might not necessarily want to just go out and get all the glasses at Crate and Barrel or whatever,” he said. “Not that there is anything wrong with that but for those who don’t, we’re trying to find something in between.”

IMG_8597In addition to being handcrafted, the other benefit of these products is that they will last — those stainless steel shot glasses are seriously heavy duty. Added bonus: You can chill them and use them with vodka to bring the temperature down.

The store operates completely online as both Pappas and Calfee have other full-time careers. Al’s Bar Supply was, at first, a way for the pair to “scratch a creative itch.” Even as they crank out more products, production will remain relatively low and they aren’t looking to go brick-and-mortar any time soon.

To learn more about Al’s Bar Supply check them out at alsbarsupply.com 

About the Author

Abby likes beer - talking about it, taking photos of it, writing about it, but mostly drinking it. When she's not drinking beer, she's likely teaching cycling, doing yoga, snapping photos, or drinking a gin cocktail on the porch with her pup. @ahofri on Instagram, @AbigailLHoff on Twitter.

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