1870 Mag

Barkeep Confessional: Emma Berlin of North High Brewing

It’s said that bartenders are the modern day psychologists. I would agree, but if we’re going to get technical, their ability to prescribe us that much-needed medicine we crave officially makes them psychiatrists of the street. We really should be paying them more. Emma Berlin tends the rustic bar top at North High Brewing. She’s pretty new to the gig, but based on her relaxed nature behind the bar, you wouldn’t have a clue.

Did you go to school here?

No, I actually went to Arizona State. But I’m from here. Both of our owners are from Ohio State, though. We’re big Buckeye fans.

You guys are just south of the heart of campus, but I’m betting you still get a ton of students here.

Yeah, we have a lot of students that do come in. Mostly older students, obviously of drinking age. I definitely don’t see a lot of young, young students because being a craft brewery; we don’t serve any domestic beers. Everybody usually knows what they want. they’re coming here to have an experience. There are a lot of students though, and a lot of Buckeye fans.

If you could have any superpower to help you behind the bar, what would it be?

I wish I could stick the person’s name on their forehead because I often feel like I get to know them, and I build this conversation with them and then like, when they’re leaving I want be like, “Bye Megan!” You know?

People are coming out a lot to try and beat the winter blues. Have you noticed a change here since the weather has gotten colder?

Yeah, we don’t have a patio, so, it has gotten busier in a sense. I feel like this time of year, people are just losing their minds. But since it’s warm, and the lighting is low, I feel like people really enjoy being here, and they stay for a while. It’s not like the pop in and out type thing. You don’t see that a lot.

Tell me about the Mug Club.

So, we have the Mug Club. It’s $8 a month and you can order any beer regular priced and have it served in your own mug.

And they can just keep their mugs here? That’s neat!

Yeah, here I’ll show you one. This one is inscribed, “A fool and his money are soon partying.”

I see that you have a selection of liquor, so it’s not JUST beer.

No, not just beer. We have some specialty liquors. But we do try to focus on our beer. We let people sample our beer a lot. When I first started coming here, I had no idea that I even liked beer. I was used to just drinking domestic beers like Budweiser. But I started trying some IPA’s and started realizing that I had a taste for hoppier beers. I used to only drink ciders, and now I drink more craft. We have the Peddle Wagon around the corner so we do that on Saturdays. We do a lot of tours here. You can come in and brew your own beer here. It takes about three hours, you can make your own labels, and you can bring your own bottles. It’s awesome.

I like the atmosphere in here. It’s sophisticated.

Yeah, it’s definitely a little more sophisticated than some of the other bars on campus, but we definitely have that homage to Ohio State. We have windows from Sullivant Hall and Brown Hall and doors from Brown Hall when they were renovated.

As sophisticated as it feels, it’s still a bar. You’re an attractive female bartender in a university setting. Does anyone ever try to hit on you a little hard after a few too many?

Not as often as you would think. I can tell if I’m going to get hit on, and then a couple drinks later, it will happen. I’m in a serious relationship, so I think I just don’t put out those vibes. But, I am very fun and friendly and flirty and it comes in handy here. If anybody did get too forward, there’s usually another guy here who steps in.

Meg Freeman


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