Public House’s cicerone masters the art of beer
By Kiko Miyasato
If you want to know anything about beer, Russell Gardner is your guy. One of only a few cicerones in the world, and the only one in Nevada, Gardner is technically schooled in everything that encompasses beer, from “knowing all the proper steps of how to get it from grain to glass and everything in between,” he said. You can find Gardner at the new Public House at The Venetian where, he said, they’re “really trying to push the beer culture … (Public House) brought me in to really elevate the beer experience in Las Vegas.”
Not only can Gardner fill you in about the more than 200 types of beer available but he can also hook you up with a pairing of beer and food. “The fun part of the job is being able to talk to tables, suggest different beers and course out pairings, whether it be a full-on dinner or someone that sits down and wants to have an appetizer (while) I recommend different beers to try,” he explained.
With almost a decade of beer experience under his belt, Gardner has some advice for novice beer drinkers: “Keep an open mind when choosing beer.” And when asked if he could suggest his favorite beer at Public House he said, “That’s like asking a mother of 12 who her favorite child is!”
Besides running Public House’s entire beer program, ordering, stocking and teaching the staff about the beer, Gardner has, deep down, genuine affection for the beverage. “I truly have a passion for beer,” he said.
The Sweet Blonde is one of Public House’s signature beer blends—the drink combines Franziskaner, Chimay White and Hornsby’s Hard Cider. “We go outside the box with our blends and blend different beers that you wouldn’t think to put together. Sweet Blonde is a good blend to shift someone into craft beer. It’s very drinkable,” Gardner said. “The Chimay keeps it spicy and complex, the Franziskaner gives it a creamy wheat texture and the cider lightens it up and gives it a sweeter, crisp finish.”