I remember when Lee Noble, Front of House and Bar Manager at Pour, used to come into the cafe where I worked, head down and focused. I never asked if he wanted more coffee; I just knew to refill it. I like to imagine that it was the caffeine within the locally roasted beans and the made-to-order delicious crepes that helped his brain soak in all of the information necessary in becoming a Certified Cicerone.
Cic·e·ro·ne (noun) > A guide who gives information about antiquities and places of interest to sightseers.
Surely Lee Noble will guide you through various depths and complexities of information, but his certification is focused on one subject in particular: Beer.
Lee explained during our interview that the Cicerone Certification program is similar to the world-renowned Sommelier program, but Cicerones are tested through a broad standardized beer industry expert exam which focuses on beer, rather than wine.
Pour, located at 144 North Prince Street, is entering its fifth year in business… steadily growing business. A visit to Pour always yields something new and exciting for its guests. Pour is perfect for anyone who wants something conceptual, fresh, and exclusive. When the bar and dining concept first opened, there was a small, limited menu with mostly glass pours of wine and beer, and a few interesting spirits. But now, Pour has added on a full service kitchen which is headed by the brilliant executive chef, Anthony Davis. Additionally, at any given time, you’ll find anywhere from 10 to 15 glass pour wines, 12 draft beers, 12 specialty cocktails, and an extensive list with 55 various bottles of whiskey.
The two beers which remain stationary at all times are Wacker Kölsch and Warsteiner Pilsner, whereas the remaining 10 taps are constantly rotating. Lee tends to rotate the American craft beer bottles since there always seems to be a new and exciting American beer. As for import bottles, he tends to stick with the classic, representative styles.
The wine list features both classics and novelties. “Most wine lists are chosen based on popular tastes,” Lee explains, “but since Pour has been geared around the experience and, at its core, started out as a wine bar, I started asking my wine reps to bring me wines no one has yet heard of, and that no one around Lancaster is buying.” The craziest thing I have ever tasted was given to me by Lee during our interview.
He brought out a tiny sip of a syrupy, golden liquid in a tiny glass. He explained to me that what I was about to taste was actually made of moldy grapes.
Yes, that’s right. I drank wine made of moldy grapes. How was it? Freakin’ delicious.
What I drank was an 18-year-old Steele Chardonnay. The wine was made in Lake County, California at the Sangiacomo Vineyard in 1997. Essentially, the grapes used to make the dessert wine were left to rot and take on a certain mold called “noble rot.” It had a similar “funk” to it like a bleu cheese, yet it was sweet and syrupy and delicious. You can get two ounces of this unique liquid for $12 at Pour. I know I’ll be ordering another one with some mango crème brûlée next time I go!
The busiest season of the year is approaching. Pour is known for their community involvement with events such as prefixed beer and wine dinners, tap takeovers, music Saturdays during the summer, as well as Barks and Beers events where you bring your puppy to the patio and enjoy chatting over a new brew.
You’ll want to make sure you have a reservation for their New Years Eve party, too! On December 31, Pour will be hosting their annual holiday bash with a special menu, a toast at midnight, extended hours, and a DJ to get you movin’ and groovin’. You won’t want to miss celebrating a new year in style.
“The most exciting thing for 2016,” Lee says, “is that every Tuesday night, we will be having three rotating performers playing live music in the art gallery.” The performances will feature local favorites, Laura Luce and Bruce, David Wilson, and Andy Mowatt.
I encourage you to take a seat at Pour. Bring a friend, or go solo. Alone or not, you’ll have an experience that you’ll never forget. Especially if you talk to the Certified Ciccerone behind the bar, Lee Noble.