HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START WORKING WITH BELLA VISTA?
I worked at the Khyber for close to eight years, the last four of which I handled the bar end of things. I used to buy a bunch of fill in stuff and pineapple juice cans from Bella Vista and one day while I was on the phone the person on the other end said, “Hey, we have our own wholesale brands now… you should try something out.” I think I ended up picking up a keg of Boulder Cold Hop which was a huge hit. I liked some of what they had in their portfolio which at the time pretty much consisted of Boulder, Ballast Point, Original Sin and Voodoo plus some brands that I think are no longer around. The next order I put in, I made a joke about how they should have someone out on the street doing on-premise sales. About 3 weeks later, someone from Bella Vista called the bar asking for the guy who asked about doing sales and luckily I answered the phone. A few weeks later I went in for an interview, we all hit it off and next thing I know I was part of this great wholesaler.
OUTSIDE BEER, MUSIC SEEMS TO BE A BIG PASSION OF YOURS. WAS BEING A ROCK STAR YOUR ORIGINAL GOAL IN LIFE? ARE YOU A MUSICIAN YOURSELF?
Yes! We had a piano in our house growing up but I just naturally gravitated towards drums. When I was like 8 or 9 I used to set up a drum set made up of all kinds of household items and pretend I was Alex Van Halen or Neil Peart. I was always drumming on anything that was around and my parents finally broke down and got me a real kit when I was 12. I loved it and they probably hated it but they were also very supportive of whatever I was interested in. I still enjoy playing music with friends but it’s nothing serious. I’m also constantly and totally unconsciously air guitaring or air drumming, whether there’s music on or not. It gets a lot of strange looks.
SELLING BEER TO CITY BARS, YOU CAN BE FOUND AT MANY EVENTS THROUGHOUT TOWN, BUT YOU RESIDE IN THE SUBURBS, SO WHERE ARE YOUR USUAL WATERING-HOLES WHEN YOU’RE OFF THE CLOCK?
HOME! Going to great beer bars five days a week is a total dream job, but I also enjoy spending time with my wife and two kids. And that’s where the beer cellar comes in. But if I had to pick a few places you can find me having a pint at on any given day I’d say Khyber, Devil’s Den, Jose Pistola’s or 2312 Garrett.
PEOPLE MAY RECOGNIZE YOUR PICTURE FROM THE DIY NETWORK WHERE YOU HAD THE HONOR OF BEING THE RECIPIENT OF A NEW KITCHEN AND 30 MINUTES OF TELEVISION FAME. HOW IS THE RENOVATED KITCHEN?
Ha! Getting our kitchen remodeled on television was just lucky I guess, and it was such an awesome experience. It was filmed during Beer Week 2010 and it’s amazing you can’t tell how exhausted I was. I was at events all day, every day until the wee hours of the morning, only to have a TV and construction crew at our door at 7am ready to go and if it was my day to be filmed I had to look pleasant. I’d do it again in a second, too.
SPEAKING OF ACHIEVEMENTS, YOU’VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TRAVEL A GOOD AMOUNT IN THE NAME OF BEER. IS THERE ONE BEER MOMENT THAT STANDS OUT AMONG THE REST?
Going to GABF is always a blast. It’s just kind of the ultimate weekend with some of the best beer and beer people in the world. Also my first Beer Week with Bella Vista. At one point, we had over 100 events booked and there were only 3-4 of us to get our suppliers around and attend events. We had no idea how we were going to make it happen but we did and had a giant collective sigh of relief the day after it ended and immediately started planning again for the next year.
WHAT’S ONE LAST THING THAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PAUL HAVELIN?
I listen to Rush at least once a day. If I don’t, I just kind of feel unbalanced.