Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with bartender Nic Chmiel of Wingman Brewers

By Ron Swarner on November 10, 2014

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Nic Chmiel.

Server Banner Boy, Nov. 10-16, 2014

Nic Chmiel

Wingman Brewers in the Tacoma Dome District was all hustle and bustle last week with a bottling session in the back, including capping their Miss B-Haven Belgian-style Tripel. During the hubbub, the brewery left a mechanical engineer in charge. Nic Chmiel, who will soon head to Washington State University to finish his engineering degree, was pouring beers and holding court in the Wingman taproom. Chmiel grew up in BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouses, including California, Southcenter and South Hill. He's been surrounded by beers his entire service stint.

Why do you serve?

"Ha ha why not? I get to work hours that match my lifestyle. I get to meet some really cool people and just bullshit with them all night. The camaraderie between other service workers is out of this world. The pay is good enough to get me through school and pay my rent. And, at the end of it all, I get to serve people something that I am passionate about and enjoy being around for 10 hours a day. What more could you possibly ask for?"

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"See ... now this is tough. There are a lot of nameless faces at that one place I went to that one time or other that are awesome. There are some out-of-this-world servers in the South Sound - it's impossible to pin it down. I would have to answer with: ‘anyone that is seriously passionate about what they do.' It shows, and it can make or break your dining-drinking experience. Nobody wants to saddle up to a bar and the bartender clearly just does not want to be there.??"

What are you most proud to serve?

"Authentic, well-crafted Tacoma ales."

What's your current drink of choice?

"OOOOOH ... This summer I have really been turned on to sours. It's a tough thing to find, but if I can get into a bar that has a sour beer, that's my go to. If not, next step is to look for a craft porter. Cannot go wrong there. If that fails, any craft beer on draft. And, if by chance, I stumble into a place that does not have craft beer at all, then probably a whiskey sour. Ha ha or I leave. ..."

Favorite movie?

"Easy - Pulp Fiction. I am a huge Tarantino fan. I don't have a TV, but I have probably seen Django like ten times too."

What don't you serve?

"Minors and drunks. Besides that, I have probably just about seen it all."

What's on your radar at Wingman Brewers?

"Definitely our upcoming 'Denizens of the Dark' event on November 22. I love me a big, heavy beer and this event is nothing but that. Just HUGE winter beers. And a lot of them. We will also be releasing bottles of our Stratofortress and Bourbon Barrel Aged Stratofortress, and you can bet a handful of those bad boys are headed home with me."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers