Thursday, March 29, 2012

You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!

You may have noticed that Gene Simmons, of the band KISS, is a bit of a self-promoter. Action figures, condoms, Mr. Potato heads—you name it and it's probably got a Kiss logo on it. In fact, Simmons was behind the officially licensed KISS Casket—excuse me Kasket. So, I have a tendency to take what he does with a grain of salt—but he may have just changed my mind.

Hey! Aren't you going to pour
that into a glass? Noooooooo!
Apparently, the Demon has decided to get into the craft beer biz. According to beeradvocate, the Huffington Post and CNBC, Simmons—and his partners, promoter David Furano and restaurateur Michael Zislis—are redesigning and reopening the El Sugundo, California based rock n' roll/craft beer themed, Rock & Brews restaurant, on April 3 of this year. The idea behind the rock-concert-meets-beerfest restaurant, actually, came about at a KISS concert, attended by Zislis and Furano. The two then teamed up with, the usually teetotalling, Simmons and opened-up last March. Over the last year Zislis, originally a brewer, has been tweaking the beer menu and working the kinks out of the restaurant.

Rock & Brews is going for a backstage vibe, and just so you don't forget that God gave Gene Simmons to you, the long-tongued bass player has added his own special touch, by creating "The Great Wall of Rock," a time line of rock memorabilia and large screen TVs. Rock & Brews has your typical burger and fries, pizza and sandwiches menu, but beer is the main focus—the restaurant boasts 52 beer taps and hundreds of other bottled or canned craft beers. I don't care if you're Gene Simmons or Jean Simmons, that's a lot of taps.

Never ones to let a good thing go to waste, the trio have plans to franchise—and franchise big—with a location opening at L.A. International Airport later this year, and with other possible locations beginning in 2013—as close by as Denver, and as far flung as Tokyo.

This is actually not Simmons' first venture into beer. Last October, saw the unveiling of KISS Destroyer—an easy-to-drink beer in the best German tradition—only it's brewed in Sweden. That's about all I need to say about that.

Is Rock & Brews gimmicky? Maybe. Is it shameless self-promotion? Sure is.

But man oh man, 52 taps is 52 taps.

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