Part One In Our ‘Get To Know A Rogue’ Series
You could see the surprise on Mikey Guida’s face as he got out of the Rogue Nation limousine and stepped onto the red carpet leading into Rogue Distillery & Public House in Portland, where you’d usually find him bartending.
He was suddenly the guest of honor at a party at which his fellow Rogues, his regulars and his friends were all wearing shirts emblazoned with his face. They were all there to wish him a happy 20th Rogue anniversary.
In his 20 years behind the bar for Rogue, Mikey has served 926,826 pints and has rung up $5,325,000 in beer. He meets new people everyday who walk into the bar for the first time.
“My favorite thing about being a bartender is helping people discover Rogue,” Mikey says. “The look on a person’s face when they come through the door … a look of amazement.”
It wasn’t Mikey’s intention to be a bartender. If things had been different, Mikey would be a fisherman in Newport, like his dad. Fortunately for us, Mikey didn’t have the patience for it.
“I had a white-hot temper back then. One day, I was fed up and left the captain back on the boat to do his own work and took a walk. I found myself at the pier where my brother and I caught crabs for our family.”
Mikey took some time to think about his job and turned back for the boat. But before he made it there, he passed Rogue’s Public House on the Newport Bayfront. That’s where he met Amy Cline.
“When Mikey came in, he just had his tongue pierced so he was mumbling and slurring his words,” says Amy. “Let’s just say we had quite an interesting conversation.”
Even with any language barrier caused by tongue piercing, Amy liked Mikey immediately. He was eager to work and Amy could see he’d be worth keeping around. She put him in the kitchen but it wasn’t long before he was bartending.
As Mikey tells it, “Bruce Jackson was courting a gorgeous Brazilian woman. He offered me $50 to close the bar for him so he could chase her down.” This happened a few more times. Before long, Mikey was working Bruce’s Sunday and Monday shifts full time. And Bruce was married.
Mikey’s hard work made him an obvious choice to help open a new Rogue Public House in Issaquah, Washington — the first new Rogue pub since the brewery moved to Newport. He joined forces with pub manager Stacey Garrison to make it happen.
“Mikey helped me out so much, changing drafts, putting in lines; I learned a lot from him,” Stacey recalled. “He’s a really good hands-on person.”
Stacey recognized Mikey’s appeal too. “People love Mikey. He’s always happy, has a great sense of humor and is always ready with a great comeback. He’s just Rogue.”
In 1999, Mikey left for Portland where he opened the Rogue Distillery & Public House. He’s now so beloved as a bartender that Willamette Week nominated him as one of the best bartenders in Portland. Everyone else on the list was a fancy mixologist. Mikey just slings really good beer.
But he wasn’t slinging beer on April 11, 2016. No. He was having a beer at his own anniversary party, wearing a shirt that said “Bee Like Mikey,” a lei carefully crafted from $100 bills (one for each year — you do the math) and a huge smile on his face.
He was also looking forward to an all-expenses paid trip to San Francisco for him, his wife and his baby daughter to go see their choice of a 49ers or a Giants game (he’s a fan, if you didn’t know), another gift he’d received.
Oh, and the “Bee Like Mikey” thing? A few years back, Mikey went to the bank to drop off a pub deposit. When he arrived, he saw that there was a benefit going on. The bank would write a check to a local charity if someone would wear a bee costume and take a walk around the block. Mikey, a kind, big-hearted guy, took the challenge.
Bee Like Mikey.
Come work for Rogue Ales & Spirits. We’re hiring.