Over the 2-1/2+ years I’ve been blogging here I think I’ve revealed a number things about which I’m a self-avowed geek: beer, of course, but also calendars, potato chips, economics and View-Master reels, to name a few. Well, I guess I have to unfurl yet another geeky passion of mine: vexillology. For the uninitiated, that’s the study of flags. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved pouring over books of flags, learning the meanings behind the colors and the symbols on the flags. I find it fascinating while my wife just shakes her head every time we pass a flag unknown to her that I can identify without a moment’s hesitation. I confess it’s not the kind of information that comes in handy very often, but it sure makes watching the Olympics easier.
So I was thrilled when I stumbled across these yesterday while trying to find a picture of Batman holding a beer. An ad agency in Boston, Arnold Worldwide, last December created a series of flags for a beer bar in Boston, the Sunset Grill & Tap. Their website claims they have the best beer selection in Boston with 112 beers on tap and 380 bottled, but given the looks of the site I rather doubt that quality is the driving force, just the quantity of their selection. If I had to guess — and I could be wrong, of course — I’d say they carry things like Stella Artois and not Westmalle from Belgium and Asahi but not Hitachino Nest Beer from Japan.
But the flags that their ad agency did for them are terrific, in my opinion. Simple is often best, I think. They just took the flags from three countries (at least these are the only ones I know of) and altered them ever so slightly to make you think of both beer and that nation in one simple image, their flag. The logo for Sunset Grill & Tap is the lower right-hand corner, but it’s unobtrusive. Now that’s creative, especially to the average amateur vexillologist.
More flag stuff, while not beer related, about 25 minutes away from Sunset is the Bedford flag – the oldest complete flag known in the United States.
From looking at Sunset’s website, you might think they have stretched their claims about having the best Boston beer selection, but you’d probably be wrong. I can’t think of another bar in Boston where one can walk in and have a choice of a few different sour beers, or the latest offerings from Southern Tier, or any number of the local New England breweries. I can’t remember if they have Westmalle, but St. Bernardus 12 is there. Service isn’t always the best when sitting and eating, but I’ve never had an issue with not finding a beer I haven’t tried before.
What cool flags…
Stephen Beaumont says
I’ve visited the Sunset a few times, Jay, and will likely be back when I return to Boston this Labor Day weekend. Why? Not because of the ambiance, which I think the late Mr. Jackson would have described as “studenty,” but because despite their frankly ridiculous number of taps, I’ve never been poured a dud beer or seen anyone else poured one. And as DT notes, the Sunset always spoils a person for choice.
It’s always tricky trying to get the feeling of a place just from their website, as I said, but it used way too much flash and made it look too clubbish, rather than beer friendly. But I guess I’ll have to give it a try when I’m in Boston next spring for CBC.
Love the rising sun with beer bottles the best …