By Joshua Pilat
NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – The House of 1,000 Beers is becoming known as the best place to find a variety of beers at great prices. The local bar and six-pack shop has received an “A” rating by visitors of beeradvocate.com, a national website which posts reviews of beers and bars.
General manager John Lakari works hard to keep the selection and value at the level that his customers expect. The bar carries from 1,000 to 1,200 varieties of beer at any one time, and the bar’s 40 taps rotate to offer new customers an ever-changing selection of draft beers.
According to Lakari, people come from other areas because of the variety and the value offered at the House of 1,000 Beers, located in New Kensington. “People will drive past some of the other places with variety to come here,” he said, adding that the area is an important part of the business. “Where we are located allows us to keep our prices where they are, at value.”
Lakari is the son-in-law of owner and founder Dave Sagrati, whose passion and knowledge about beer made the House what it is today. Sagrati started a beer distributor business in 1974. His search for variety led him to open a six-pack store in 1994, where people could try different beers without having to buy a whole case.
Six N Save, as it was called then, kept expanding and moved into the larger current location in 2009. The name was also changed in 2009, because this was anything but the standard six-pack store.
“This was Dave’s dream,” Lakari said. “To be able to get beers that were hard to get, that people had to go a long way to get.” Dave’s dream is flourishing. “Instead of having people go to the beer, he brought the beer to people,” said Lakari.
There is something for almost any taste, even for people who don’t normally drink beer.
“I get people who tell me they don’t really drink beer,” said Lakari. “We tell them to try this or that beer, and they usually end up finding something they like.”
The House of 1,000 Beers encourages people to keep trying new things. The Bottle and Draft clubs reward customers based on the number of different beers that they have sampled. Customers earn T-shirts, mugs with their names and plaques on the wall. Once a customer reaches 100 different drafts, they earn a permanent discount on draft beers.
And they don’t stop at 100. Just before Lakari talked to WEDIG, he poured a customer his four-hundredth draft. “It’s not hard to get up there,” said Lakari. “Because the 40 different taps keep rotating, people don’t have to wait long to get something new.”
The new varieties will never stop say Lakari. “The Egyptians started it,” he said. “2,000 years before Christ they were brewing beer varieties.”
The House of 1,000 Beers keeps trying new things as well. They recently received a new brand of ciders called Crispin, which are sugar-free and gluten-free.
According to Lakari, they found the ciders because customers were asking for good ciders. It wasn’t hard to convince the House to try something new. “We always want to try new things. You have to in this business,” he said.
Other special events are set for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The bar also offers Happy Hour discounts and Steeler game specials. Updates on events, specials and new arrivals can be found online at their website or on the bar’s official Facebook page.