An Open and Inclusive Approach to Beer
Craig talks with Melissa and Kevin Walter of Love City Brewing about maintaining balance between consistent quality and adaptability, the importance of creating an inclusive and welcoming space, and the nuance of partnering both in business and in life.
An Open and Inclusive Approach to Beer
Craig Grossman: [00:00:00] In an age of quick and expendable. What if you were to start with history and repurpose what we already have? What if you were to use the forgotten spaces around you and use them as a catalyst of creativity, this is the Spring Arts Podcast with Craig Grossman and that’s our mission.
Hey everybody. This is Craig Grossman. I’m coming to you live from RADIOKISMET at four 48 North 10th street here in spring arts, Philadelphia. I am lucky enough to be joined by two amazing, incredible people. That have opened up a spectacular brewery that everybody knows. And if you don’t know it, you should know it and you will know it by the end of this interview here, Kevin and Melissa of Love City.
They are, have been in business now here in the neighborhood for the past two years here. So
Melissa Walter: [00:01:21] no it’s cause it’s we turned to during the, you know, the second month of the covert shutdown, which was right. That’s
Craig Grossman: [00:01:27] right. Well, they are joining me for this next. The addition of the Spring Arts Podcast, and we’re super happy to have them here.
So we’re going to sort of get right into it. Everybody sorta knows the deal. If you’ve listened to a couple of the previous interviews. So we really want to make sure everybody knows, um, what Love’s, city’s all about. And a big part of Love City are the entrepreneurs behind it. And Kevin and Melissa are a wonderful couple.
They are life partners as well as business partners. And we’ll get to that in a little bit. Cause that seems to be like a little bit of an interesting vibe going up, going on here in spring arts. Um, so they’ve been at it for two years now and we’re going to dig into it. So a couple of things I want to begin asking you here is.
What is it about starting this business that brought you here now, Kevin, I know you have a lot of experience in the industry, so let’s talk a little bit about what you were doing prior to Love City. And what brought you to the concept of doing your own thing here in the hook? Sure.
Kevin Walter: [00:02:25] Uh, so I worked prior to Love City.
I worked at, uh, iron Hill brewing company for a little over nine years. Uh, prior to that, I was an English major and English major can do one thing and let’s go back to school. Um, and that wasn’t something I wanted to do. So after a short stint waiting tables at the Iron Hill Brewery in Media, I was able to like free sweat labor my way into a brewery position with them. And then worked my way up the ladder with them over nine years, to the point where I was running a, like a regional department for them, which was great because I like learn
the brewing industry from the grunt work, scrubbing tanks, scrubbing mold to the business side of things.
So it was, it was a wonderful place to learn. And, uh, we got to a point where I was on the road all the time. Uh, Melissa was at a point in her career life that it made sense for us both to kind of make a change. We lived in Philly now for. Yes, 11, 12 years, something like that. Maybe a little longer, but always have been like coming down to the city.
Always wanted to be a part of the city for, for as long as I can remember. So it just made sense when we were coming to that point, that it was time for a change, that it was time to explore something at home. Here.
Melissa Walter: [00:03:42] Yeah.
Craig Grossman: [00:03:43] Awesome. So, Melissa, what were you doing for those nine
Melissa Walter: [00:03:47] I was, uh, going back to grad school and getting my master’s in counseling and having a career as a therapist.
I was actually a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania for a good couple of years before I made the change over. Cool.
Craig Grossman: [00:03:59] Well, I mean, from, from what I gathered, I mean, I was a philosophy major, so imagine what you, okay. So we all know what you do with, uh, with, with those, um, majors. Um, but I actually think, you know, counseling and English and philosophy, they’re, they’re somewhat helpful.
Melissa Walter: [00:04:17] mean, 90% of a business is dealing with people, you know, it’s having interpersonal interactions on a day to day basis. So I think that part of it has been. Easy earth. I’m not gonna say it’s easy, cause it’s never easy, but you know, at least I had the background and the skills to sort of deal with those more difficult
Craig Grossman: [00:04:32] interactions.
Yeah. And of course, over the last several months it’s been even more difficult. So tell us
about the mission, the idea, the concept behind Love City.
Melissa Walter: [00:04:43] Yeah. I mean, we obviously it’s a brewery, you know, that is the thing that we make and the thing that we put out into the world. Um, but I think. Secondly, and equally as important is what we kind of have come to call the vibe.
The vibe at Love City is very inclusive, very welcoming. Um, you know, we deliberately designed the space in that way. Everybody enters through a ramp. Our bathroom stalls are all, you know, full privacy, gender neutral. We wanted there to be no physical barriers. Two people, you know, enjoying the space. And then similarly in all of the messaging that we put
out in all of the communications that we do as Love City, we want to make sure that everybody knows that they’re invited and everybody knows that they’re included.
Craig Grossman: [00:05:23] So, you know, I remember one of the, the first times that we met and I was immediately drawn to the two of you just personalities, the passion. Yeah. The concept. But I remember, and I’m not going to answer this question for you here, Kevin, but I want you to tell me, so, what do you think Makes Love City’s beer stand out? When you were. So you come obviously with this, you know, with, with a pretty good lineage of how to make beer, what are you bringing to Love City and focusing on to make sure Love City beer is actually something that people are imbibing on a regular basis.
Kevin Walter: [00:05:57] For me, the most important thing is quality.
And that, is it a couple of different definitions for quality?.And like the strictest, like production mind, it’s like, it’s, it’s re repeatability. It’s a, uh, beverage that you’re going to drink one time. So our Love City Lager, You have that once and then the next batch should taste like the previous batch. So people have a sounding board for what it is.
They know what it is. They know they liked it. They know they’re going to continue to like it. So that’s a major thing. And also, so, uh, I think the thing that we’re pretty good at is kind of adapting to the market and reading the way trends are going and listening to people. So I probably said back then the same thing I say now that we built the large tasting room, because we wanted that direct customer feedback.
Right. As soon as that beer hits the taps. And having wonderful bartenders who have good relationships with the customers who have those relationships, where they can talk about, like, we didn’t like this, we did like this. And then give that feedback back. So being versatile enough and being able to like adapt to trends in the market and take the ego out of it a little bit.
So the brewing world is very different now than it was when I started, when I started over 10 years ago, there were less than 2,500 breweries in the U S. And now, um, there’s more than 7,000. Wow. So what used to drive breweries 10, 15 years ago was it was mostly like, uh, the brewer was the person that drove the brewery.
It was more about the concept of the beer brand that that brewery put out and less the consumer having more feedback and what that might look like. And now you can’t really do that. If you do that now, like you really have to have a product that’s going to a standout above and beyond, which is a hard thing when there’s so much good beer.
So the best thing we can do is kind of adapt and put out the best thing that people actually want to drink at that moment. Um, and they know that because they’ve had our previous beers that it’s going to be quality every time they drink it.
Craig Grossman: [00:08:06] I remember you telling me, um, you were probably geeking out on me a little bit from like the Bureau, but you would, you would tell me actually, yeah,
cleaning the equipment was like a super important component to get quality beer that tastes the same.
Batch after batch after batch,
Melissa Walter: [00:08:26] I was, I was,
Craig Grossman: [00:08:27] I was intrigued by that. I thought, well, that’s interesting. And that’s cool. I like the fact that he’s clean. Yeah. That’s good to know.
Melissa Walter: [00:08:34] It’s interesting though, because people think about brewing as this like, Oh, So cool. You own a brewery, you make beer. It’s like, yeah, you want to know what that means everyday.
Like you scrubbed the thing and then you make it dirty and then you scrub it again. Like it’s not a very quote unquote glamorous job. It’s a fun job in a lot of ways. It’s a cool product. And it’s something that we really enjoy sharing. But the actual day to day work is not so glamorous.
Craig Grossman: [00:08:55] Right? Well, it looks sexy when you come into the tasting room and there you are just sort of leaning against the bar, looking pretty drinking a beer.
Um, but I get it. There’s a lot of work that goes into it. Um, so, you know, I, I always wonder because, you know, I spent some time with the Roy Pitts guys early on and we went, um, just sort of traveling through center city and tasting at some of the breweries. And I could not believe how much those guys could drink.
And I wonder because I really believe that they probably pour beer in their Cheerios in the morning. And somehow just like, but that’s, you know, that’s like, you know, central PA and they that’s how they do, they do them. Yeah. So I’m wondering, so. How do you guys unwind when you come home? And I know the days blend in tonight’s and I know, but when you come home, do you actually, like, do you have your beer on tap?
Do you have a can of beer in your fridge? Do you pop it open at eight o’clock and, and, you know, sit back and turn on, you know, sports center and chill together. What are you guys doing?
Melissa Walter: [00:09:58] I mean, that’s not far off to be honest, frequently have our beer in the fridge, you know, it’s like, Oh, we just, you know, can that be, let’s grab some and take it home.
You know, we want to sit down and actually chill. It’s a different feeling sitting on your couch and drinking beer versus like sitting at work and sampling it. He’s got to have that experience with it, but. Yeah, come home, you know, do it. We have two giant dogs, so we take them for a good walk and then chill on the couch and pet dogs and drink a beer and watch TV,
Kevin Walter: [00:10:25] typical night’s sports center with RuPaul’s drag race.
Craig Grossman: [00:10:30] Cool. All right, hang on to that thought until we went home and come back to a question a little bit later, that you might want to sort of resurrect group hall.
So let’s also, let’s talk a little bit more about the vibe of Love City. So I’ll tell you, I mean, and I’m sure you get this from, from other customers here, so.
First of all like, love sitting on the outside. It’s like, it’s not overly designed by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s, it’s one of these, um, it’s, it’s like a gym that you sort of find, right. And, and you have to find it, right. You’re not on like main and main. You’re not on the corner. You don’t have like over the top.
Branding and signage it’s in this turn of the century building and it has unbelievable character. You walk into the space and you’re like, Whoa, Whoa, I didn’t know this existed over here. And you’ve done a beautiful job because the space looks like it’s been there for you. Like you’ve been in business there for 30 years, not for two years.
So it’s approachable. The two of you are very laid back down to earth, easygoing. At least that’s what I see usually. Um, yeah. And I think it, I think it’s just translate, translate, so, you know, kudos to you on, on delivering that environment and, you know, you’ve got, you’ve got a great, I think following now as well.
I mean, you can see that on social media. I know Melissa, you’ve done a fabulous job or the social media there. Um, and I guess you’ve got your regulars. You’ve got people that keep finding you and finding the brewery. It’s cool to see how far you’ve come in. Such a long period of time.
Melissa Walter: [00:11:57] Yeah. I mean, it is very much a hidden gem, like you said, because you know, you’re walking it on this cobblestone street on Hamilton street and it’s like, am I even in the right place, you know, what’s going on? And then you turn and see these big wooden doors. Um, and you know, looking at it from the entrance of Hamilton street, I don’t expect it to be that big, but then when you walk into the space and you see those giant high ceilings and the amount of natural light that’s in there, and, you know, when we first saw that space, we knew, I mean, I am so grateful that we’ve been able to turn it into a brewery and keep it as a whole thing and keep it as a manufacturing facility.
Cause that’s what that building was for, you know, when it was built at the turn of the century. So, you know, definitely wanted to keep the very industrial feel while still making it feel welcoming and not so cold. So to hear that we’ve accomplished that in any degree is, is hugely validating. So,
Kevin Walter: [00:12:45] and a lot of that is the staff.
Yeah. So that, that we knew from the beginning. So, uh, like. The space is one thing. But if you walk into a space like that, no matter how inviting it feels, if you don’t, if you aren’t greeted and have that personal relationship and like that good experience with people who like are actually serving you the product, like it can kill a space in a minute.
So like working with Mike, our tasting room manager, our GM who has a history and like corner bars. And that was the whole idea of find people who know customer service, who know regulars. And he’s hired wonderful people in there and they, they, the vibe is what it is when you walk in, but the vibe is really created by the people.
Craig Grossman: [00:13:27] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s a, um, you know, an authentic extension of who you are and you’re your brand. What was it that drew you to the neighborhood?
Melissa Walter: [00:13:39] I mean, we looked for a while, you know, and Christopher can attest to that. We have been looking for, for quite a while. I’m hearing everybody always says, Oh, why, why would you want to move into a neighborhood with two breweries already there?
You know, your competition is right around the corner, you know? Cause we, well. Where pets had existed. You know, when we were looking at this space and triple bottom, we knew it was sort of in planning, but I think that’s great. You know, it creates sort of a critical mass of people that want to go out and do like a minibar or you crawl.
And it’s all within a couple of blocks of one another. And that’s great. And just the amount of other food and beverage businesses that were here that we knew would be here in the near future was huge. It’s such a weird little pocket of the city, but you’re doing such cool things here. It’s great.
Craig Grossman: [00:14:22] Well, we’re, we’re super excited that you’re here and you’re a, a, you were one of the pioneers. I mean, so I don’t, I don’t, we can’t discount that at all. So let’s talk about something. I know nobody really likes to talk about it, but let’s talk about COVID a little bit, you know, how that has sort of interrupted life as we knew it.
So. We wake up one day and you know, we’re told that, you know, businesses have to shut down and we need to step back and it’s shelter in place. And are we wearing masks? And so, you know, you guys are like, your business is humming at that moment. You know, you got, I don’t know how many people you are serving on a weekly basis, but it always seems.
You know, the taproom seems packed to me. Yeah. You got a wholesale. Yeah. That’s humming. You’re canning beers. You’re doing, you’ve got lots of different sources of revenue, but suddenly you’ve got a 10,000 square foot space that, you know, you can have anyone in it. It’s tempting. Yeah. So what have you been doing to, to sort of navigate around that and circumvent that, you know, I, I use this metaphor in all my little interviews here.
You gotta step up to the line of scrimmage here and you gotta make a call because, uh, you can’t go with the same playbook. It’s, it’s an entirely new, uh, quarter right now. So tell us a little bit about what you’ve been up to. We
Melissa Walter: [00:15:36] pivoted pretty quickly. Thankfully we knew the shutdown was probably coming.
We started to plan. Um, and then when it actually hit, we were able to pivot pretty quickly to offering online ordering and home delivery. That was huge in the beginning that really got us through the beginning months of the pandemic, being able to actually, you know, do an entirely online transaction.
Contactless delivery to the door. That was awesome. Later, we were able to add beer shipping, thankfully with our license. We can ship anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania. So
that was another sort of boost that got us back up to, you know, a little bit higher. Um, I know fortunately nothing has been able to replace the, the over the bar sort of, you know, taproom, sorta income.
But those two things I think were, were definitely huge in the beginning for us.
Kevin Walter: [00:16:23] It’s been, it’s been strange because it feels like every two weeks we adapt to a new situation. So we adapted to becoming a home delivery and takeout place that also did distribution to grocery stores and like case distributors.
And then a couple of weeks after that, we could start having some outdoor dining. That’s great. But then home delivery drops off. So now we’ve got to find a replacement for that kind of thing. So we’ve got some outside tables and some of the bars are starting to reopen. We’re starting to have outdoor dining.
And then a couple of weeks after that, like we’re just starting to have the really nice weather again. And now it’s starting to get really big in the beer gardens are opening. Okay. Change it again. Um, and now in a couple of weeks, we’re going to be able to have indoor dining again. Yeah. Um, and before that we did the beer garden for the last couple of weeks and the last couple of weekends.
So. I think the major thing is just being like, never thinking that you’re going to be able to adhere to one like business model for any period of time right now. And as soon as things are shifting or something’s not working just adapting and figuring it out, because if you don’t, it’s like a shark, shark stops swimming.
So yeah, exactly.
Craig Grossman: [00:17:37] Is that, why is that one of the big lessons learned from this whole mass here that. You don’t want to become complacent. Do you, I mean, there’s one thing about calling an auto. Well, when you need to, right. Another thing also about just continuing to like, keep it fresh. I mean, you figured out how to bring in some additional sources of revenue, right?
Will you be able to keep some of those sources of revenue and that’s what we’re hoping. Right. And then will you. Things, hopefully get back to normal at some point. Will you still be looking to keep it fresh? And, yeah, so I agree. I think that’s, that’s key to stay on top of it and not become complacent because it’s easy to do and shit happens.
Kevin Walter: [00:18:17] it’s easy to just curl up in a ball at home and just be like, I’m just going to ignore this week. I’m just going to chill. Where’s he going to do? Write it out. But, if you do that, we we’ve. The major thing that I love about the business is the people. Um, and we’ve got staff that rely on us trying to make this thing work.
So not just us, not just the obligations we have, but we have obligations to people. So there’s no time to go, like sit around and be complacent. And yeah,
Melissa Walter: [00:18:45] granted, we, I had a day or two, I was definitely curled up in a ball. I can’t deal with this, you know, we’re, we’re done for today kind of thing, but over the long term.
Yeah. We’re uh,
Craig Grossman: [00:18:54] well you wouldn’t, they wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. We, we all do. Yeah, like you said, I mean, there are people that are relying on us. It’s our own families, other families. Um, yeah, we’ve got obligations and we got to keep going. That’s one of the things that I love about it, you know, the entrepreneurs in this neighborhood here, you know, they’ve got, they’ve got fight, they’ve got heart.
They don’t sit around. They’re going to figure out how to get from point a to point B. Even if it means it’s not a straight line. Yeah. It’s almost like working together as a, you know, in house, out of house.
Melissa Walter: [00:19:31] No, I mean, it’s good actually during the day, I mean, people think, Oh my God, you work together. You live together, you know, you must get so sick of each other.
During the day, I may be say 10 words to him while he’s running his, doing his thing I’m running to do in mine. Um, and we really, you know, reconnect when we get home at night, but for the day it’s like, yeah, I see you, but I don’t really see you, you know? So it’s, it’s not as much FaceTime and you know, too much as people might think it is.
Kevin Walter: [00:19:57] Yeah. The hard thing is turn it off when you get home. And that’s something that like. It’s always going to be something that we struggle with. So we, what we try to do is like, we work out what we need to from the day, figure that out. And by the time we’re home, it’s like 7:30, eight O’clock you dinner walk the dogs decompress about work.
And then you’ve got a couple minutes before you go to bed.
Melissa Walter: [00:20:18] Yeah, we do have a cutoff, like at some point during the day one, or both of us will say like, okay, no more work talk, like it’s just done. We got to cut it off right now because we can’t do this anymore today.
Craig Grossman: [00:20:29] Oh, that makes sense. Yeah. I mean, you gotta, you gotta separate it.
Yeah. Or else we’ll just become, I think too muddy and, um, You gotta keep it, keep it healthy. So another thing that’s happened here during COVID, especially as I’ve seen a lot of collaboration amongst the local businesses. So you, you touched upon the beer garden, tell us like the, the sort of origination of that idea and who you were doing that with and how that all came together.
Kevin Walter: [00:20:56] Yeah. So we knew that we weren’t going to find replacement income necessarily with just the home delivery and that kind of thing. And that. We’re going to have outdoor dining as something that would be a potential. So we had to find a space. So
luckily we have this large parking lot next to us, and we were able to work with you guys to use it during the weekends.
And it’s such a big parking lot. And we have two other breweries here that are also struggling to figure this out. It made more sense for us to kind of combine resources and kind of attack it all together and try to fill the place as much as we can. And all three of us kind of benefit from it. Yards was in for a week or two, and then they had to step out because they had really big things.
They were dealing with down at their place. So it was kind of cool in the end because we got to just work with the right pets and Triple Bottom that are kind of our neighbors in this, in this neighborhood.
Craig Grossman: [00:21:47] Cool. So you’re talking about outdoor dining, that’s been sort of going on, you know, breweries, aren’t really known other, unless you had a, you know, a beer garden component, not known for having outdoor space.
So tell us what we can look forward to maybe in the next couple of weeks, something that’s cooking over here. Love City.
Melissa Walter: [00:22:04] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, thankfully again, with the generosity of arts and crafts, we have been able to. Figure out a semi permanent outdoor dining solution. Um, just as Love City, we don’t really have a ton of space for a big sidewalk cafe or a street or something like that.
Um, so thankfully we were able to use this section of the parking lot, which we again are gonna make a semi permanent thing with an actual large tent for all weather coverage. Um, if you’ve seen any of our other parties or events, you know, it’s probably gonna be really cool looking. We tend to go a little, uh, We have a lot of fun with decorating.
So especially it’s going to look really cool.
Kevin Walter: [00:22:40] Uh, Mo our sales director is, is basically the heart and soul of our, like a decoration and design
Melissa Walter: [00:22:47] was a design background. So she just tells us what to do.
Craig Grossman: [00:22:50] She is. She’s awesome. Right. So I know there’ll be, you know,
there’ll be some nod to Halloween that rolls around there’s Thanksgiving and the holidays.
And. Rumor has it. We might be able to catch an Eagles game on, on a Sunday or maybe a flyers game if they keep moving.
Melissa Walter: [00:23:08] Yeah, we’re going to put the projection screen out there, set it up, have a whole, whole thing as much of a, a safe bar experience you can have at this point, we know that outdoor is safer than indoor.
We know to be socially distant, everything will be well spaced. Um, obviously there’ll be plenty of air flow and you can still, you know, have a drink with your friends and watch a game it’s
Kevin Walter: [00:23:27] possible. And we’re working on potentially partnering with a food truck and, uh, and having more of a residency for the food truck.
So like, If you want to go get pizza or something, you’d be able to show up and there’s going to be that there. And you can count on that. Um, yeah, so I think that’s going to be a really big component
Craig Grossman: [00:23:45] to it. Wow. Awesome. So we’ll look forward to that. Let’s remind everybody also on September 8th is an important date.
Melissa Walter: [00:23:52] September 8th, we can have indoor dining at 25% capacity, very excited. Um, so for us, that’s, it’s, it’s worth it. You know, we’re definitely going to do it. Um, we’re going to be following all of the safety precautions. Obviously, you know, our staff are going to have their own face shields as you know, for the city requirements.
And we, you know, we, I am very concerned about them and their safety. So I’m glad that we’re, we’re going that route. But everything will be nice and clean and sanitized and also, you know, fun and Love City.
Craig Grossman: [00:24:20] Cool. So we’ll look forward to that on September 8th. What day of the week is that Tuesday?
Melissa Walter: [00:24:24] Right after labor day.
Craig Grossman: [00:24:26] Oh, right, right. For me. Okay. Okay. Um, it’s a perfect time to step inside and have a beer on tap. Okay, cool. So I feel like I got, you know, a good vibe of, of Love City on the inside. What we can expect on the outside. Got a pretty good idea of the people behind it, by the way, just in case people haven’t met Kevin and Melissa, I want you to know this about Kevin.
So. I feel like Kevin’s facial hair grows faster than anybody. I know. It’s probably true. So you probably just because clean shaven right now, you just shaved. Cause he knew
Melissa Walter: [00:24:55] that this morning,
Craig Grossman: [00:24:56] right? I thought it was cause you knew we were going to see me.
He wanted to look at me. Well, here’s the deal. Right.
And especially when Kevin has a mascot for the last six months. When he takes that, man, he has a different, like, look, he’s gone. Like I’ve seen Fu Manchu two weeks later. There’s the soul patch a week later. There’s the, like the chops. I mean, I’ve seen it all and it is incredible. Do you remember growing up by the way, there was this like magnetics there’s this, this,
Melissa Walter: [00:25:20] but the thing and you put the beard in the hair. Craig Grossman: [00:25:22] You should be,
Melissa Walter: [00:25:25] it’d be perfect.
Kevin Walter: [00:25:26] Yes, exactly. Gotta keep it fresh. Like everybody’s so stressed right
now we’ll do something fun.
Craig Grossman: [00:25:31] I love it. It’s so funny to see he’s looking so buttoned up here right now, clean shaven, no glasses, like, okay. Anyway, so I just, you know,
Melissa Walter: [00:25:42] don’t encourage that. So he’s going to just like grow some kind of crazy sideburns now and I’m just like, man,
Craig Grossman: [00:25:47] you seen it
Melissa Walter: [00:25:48] right.
Kevin Walter: [00:25:50] Yeah. Going off 15 years. You’ve definitely seen it all. Sure.
Craig Grossman: [00:25:53] I’m sure. Alright. So that was a little side piece on, on Kevin. That’s another reason to come to the brewery.
Melissa Walter: [00:25:58] See Kevin’s facial,
Craig Grossman: [00:25:59] who knows what he’s going to have. You never know. You never know. Okay. So now I want to ask each of you a question and I don’t know if RuPaul comes back into this or not here.
But I want to, I want to find out, I want to learn something that I don’t know about each of you and something that I wouldn’t have expected. I see told me you were an English major, sort of different. Okay. Uh, you watch Ru Paul’s drag queen sports center thing at 11 o’clock and it was then he’s. Okay. But gimme something that’s like, I really wouldn’t expect to hear.
Something you like to do. Is it a hobby, something you studied, something you did before this year. You’re thinking about doing it. When you grow up here,
Melissa Walter: [00:26:39] you’re such an open book. I’ve got a couple, but I don’t know if yeah, I’ll start. So, and you may have heard about this through the grapevine somewhere. Um, but I was an integral member of the Philadelphia, Philadelphia roller Derby league for a very long time.
Craig Grossman: [00:26:58] I did hear that. I think that is awesome. Wait, when am I going to actually see some like video or
Melissa Walter: [00:27:03] stills? It exists on YouTube somewhere or on my Facebook page? I could probably find it through there. I used
Craig Grossman: [00:27:09] to a little bit of that when I was, when I was a
Melissa Walter: [00:27:11] kid fun, like we had a whole travel team, like I got to travel the country and play roller Derby with like an awesome group of women, which was amazing.
It was such a good time
Kevin Walter: [00:27:20] in my life. Yeah. The community was amazing. Yeah.
Craig Grossman: [00:27:23] Right. So you should know, by the way, I mean, Melissa is like, She’s athletic. Like she’s tall. Like I could see that I could see like the, the, the guards on the elbows with. So what position did you, did you?
Melissa Walter: [00:27:35] I did it all. I was not a jammer is like the point score.
I did that a little bit. I wasn’t amazing at it, but blocking is basically the rest of the positions and that’s fun. I mean, your job is to like get in somebody’s way or knock them on the ground. I was like, all right, let’s
Craig Grossman: [00:27:49] do it. Oh my gosh. Wait, what, so what was the name of the team
Melissa Walter: [00:27:52] at the time? It was, we were the Liberty bells of the Philadelphia roller girls.
Craig Grossman: [00:27:56] Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. Some people have said to me, by the way that we have a couple of properties that are like, because of their sort of size that we, we should actually have some roller
Melissa Walter: [00:28:09] yeah. Put in a roller rink somewhere.
Craig Grossman: [00:28:11] That would be awesome.
Melissa Walter: [00:28:12] I would go,
Craig Grossman: [00:28:13] I gotta tell you, I mean, back in the day for me, that’s when I had my first interactions with girls, it was like, you know, Yeah.
When you’re like holding hands, my, my girlfriend was running like a girl Scouts uniform and, or maybe it was a Brownie’s uniform back then and we would hold hands. Those were, those were good old days, a lot of fun. Okay. So Kevin, you had some time to think, I know it’s probably not gonna be able to match that.
Kevin Walter: [00:28:35] No, I can’t match that. Um, I like doing things that I am not suited for. Um, so I, since I was a little kid, I was heavy into skateboarding. Uh, so I’m still a skateboarder. I still go out as much as I can, but I’m a six foot four, 220 pound guy. So I am not built for that. And I just recently started rock climbing, which is another thing that I am not built for.
Um, so I joined Tufas, which is a bouldering lounge. So bouldering is rock climbing without ropes, uh, on much shorter, uh, like routes problems. And it’s, uh, the major thing that’s kept me there. Uh, the cliffs of Callowhill just opened up a little bit after I joined Tufas but the major thing has got to be at Tufas is the community there.
It really fits exactly like the community. We try to surround ourselves with they’re incredibly inclusive. They work really hard to make sure it’s a welcoming, welcoming space. You work
really hard to have a sliding scale now for memberships so that people who are not necessarily of as much means as everybody else can also enjoy rock climbing.
That’s also something that I have
Melissa Walter: [00:29:49] not seen before. When you go to the bouldering gym, you see 90% of the people there are small, just like small framed individuals, you know, and they just are generally smaller. And then you’ve got giant Kevin like climbing up on all these things and. Well,
Craig Grossman: [00:30:06] cool. All right.
So yeah, that’s some, that’s something different, right? We wouldn’t have expected to hear
that. And now that you just gave them a really great plug you part owner of Kevin Walter: [00:30:15] no, I just, I just loved that
Craig Grossman: [00:30:16] place. Okay. Okay. That’s cool. Yeah. Alright, so now we’re gonna, you know, so we really want to like plug lifts. And so, first of all, I want to thank you for joining me here and adding.
You know, the flavor and texture and color that Love’s city brings to the neighborhood. You’re making a huge contribution, not just to spring arts, but to Philadelphia and its landscape. Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep being creative. Keep being, thinking outside the box. Keep forging forward. You know, I think we all believe that at some point we’re going to, you know, we’re going to come out on the other or the other end and we’re going to be better for, with what we’ve gone through here.
So Love City’s address is
Melissa Walter: [00:30:53] we are at 10 23 Hamilton street in Philadelphia.
Craig Grossman: [00:30:57] City’s website is.
Kevin Walter: [00:31:00] Www.lovecitybrewing.com
Craig Grossman: [00:31:03] and what are some social media hashtags that we want to,
Melissa Walter: [00:31:06] um, we’re on all the social platforms as at Love City Brewing. Um, that’s also a good hashtag to follow or, um,
Kevin Walter: [00:31:14] Even tick tock,
Craig Grossman: [00:31:16] tick tock,
Melissa Walter: [00:31:18] right?
Craig Grossman: [00:31:19] For the timing, as long as we can. Melissa Walter: [00:31:20] Great until it gets banned or
Craig Grossman: [00:31:22] something. Cool. Uh, look forward to September 8th, the day after labor day coming inside. Uh, look forward to
Melissa Walter: [00:31:30] TBD on the date for the outdoor space, but we’re going to make it as close to the indoor dining date as possible.
Craig Grossman: [00:31:36] Oh, wow. Okay. Great. All right.
So stay tuned. Look on social media for. For some of those announcements. And what else do we want to announce here? Anything else that we should, that you want to share with our thousands of listeners.
Kevin Walter: [00:31:49] Keep your eyes peeled on the social media for the new beer releases we’re doing because we’re canning new products every couple of weeks.
Craig Grossman: [00:31:55] Cool. And by the way, I mean, you should know just cause I’m a, a regular with the, uh, the IPA is at Love City, our eraser hood. Unity. Would you say, are they, are I think your best selling beers or is it just
Kevin Walter: [00:32:06] sure. Yeah. That in our lager.
Craig Grossman: [00:32:08] Really amazing. Really amazing. And remember it now, Kevin
does a really great job cleaning the equipment I do.
So the beer will be clean and consistent.
Kevin Walter: [00:32:17] There will be no explosions in your fridge. Melissa Walter: [00:32:19] Awesome.
Craig Grossman: [00:32:21] Kevin and Melissa, thank you for joining me. Thank you so much. Appreciated. This is Craig Grossman signing off from RADIOKISMET and the Spring Arts Podcast. I’ll talk to you soon. Mask up! Thanks, bye.
The Spring Arts Podcast is hosted by me, Craig Grossman. It is produced by RADIOKISMET and Studio D Podcast Production. You can expect episodes every week, and if you liked the Spring Arts Podcast, the best way to support the show is to give us a review on Apple podcasts and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.