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Tim "Scooter" Christofield: Taking the Next Step

Posted by on in October 2017 Editions
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Most bartenders at Max's began their tenure over a decade ago, but not Tim Christofield. Although "Scooter" – as most people know him – recently started at Max's, he's no stranger to the beer world. Now, with a newfound home, he's taking the next step in his journey to becoming an industry influencer.

The obvious first question is how Scooter got his nickname, the story is simple and gives honest insight into the work ethic and passion he shows for his craft; he was quick. Quick to learn and quick to move … Tim scooted from table to table and was fast on his feet. The name fits for his next chapter as Scooter tries to continue "scooting" people over to learn and do more in the beer world. 

Beer From the Beginning

While starting with DeGroen's and Baltimore Brewing Company, Scooter began to learn about beer and expanded his horizons. Prior to working there, he was a self-proclaimed, "Miller Lite drinker."

After nearly two decades bartending and managing at Shucker's and One Eyed Mike's – seeing each bar through changes in ownership – Scooter set his sights on one of Baltimore's, and his own, personal favorites...Max's Taphouse

During our interview, Scooter talked about multiple people in the city, including his former owners, and how Baltimore is so close knit, especially in the food and beverage industries. He talked about multiple stories where he mentioned mentors and friends who helped him along the way including good friend Nick Fertig, co-owner of Full Tilt Brewing Co., mentor Spike Owen, part owner of Key Brewing Company in Dundalk, MD, and former boss and owner of One Eyed Mike's, Mike Maraziti.

Now, armed with twenty years around bars, beer, and the right people, Scooter has developed relationships and knowledge from all sides of the industry, and only plans to learn even more.

Welcome to The Family...

After One Eyed Mike's sale, Scooter moved on and immediately sought out a new apogee for himself and his career.

Max's Taphouse is widely regarded as one of the best bars in Baltimore, and around the country. Innumerable awards and accolades stack as high as the list of different customers over the bar's thirty-one year history of success. With unimaginable depth to their beer list, working there takes a wealth of knowledge and experience uncommonly found.

"When I left One Eyed Mike's I told [Maraziti], 'I want to be a Cicerone and I think the dream job is Max's.'"

Now, given Scooter's decades long history in the industry and breadth of knowledge, Max's became a perfect fit and he was welcomed with open arms.

"A long time before I started there I knew that Casey [Hard] was one of the most knowledgeable people I had ever met. He's opened up a lot of doors and let me tag along on the beer ride."

In late August Scooter joined longtime General Manager at Max's, Casey Hard, to help can their collaboration with Diamondback Brewing Company; a milkshake IPA, featuring local blueberries and strawberries.

Scooter's involvement and his wide open welcome at Max's have only bolstered what he's had in mind for the future and made him more confident in pursuing it. 

The Next Step

Recently Tim began work on the next goal; becoming a certified Cicerone. Now that Scooter found a place he says he, "wants to make an impact at and be there for a long time," the decision is final.  Scooter recognizes he's at the bar and around the people who can help him become Cicerone certified, perhaps, more than any other in the city. 

"[Max's] is the perfect place to work when you're trying to get your Cicerone." He continued showcasing his certainty, "It's personal now. I'm getting it done."

Scooter found a spot with the Baltimore beer family, found the right people and places to work, and now pursues the goal of becoming one of the leaders in the market. Even on the brink of working for the certification, Scooter quickly points to his Max's family and other mentors along the way as having taught him everything, and knowing far more than he ever will.

Through consistent education and training with the support of various friends, mentors, and those who fall into both categories, Scooter hopes to become Cicerone certified sometime in the very near future, but wants to do it right and learn all he can first. 

So far ... so good.

Beers Enjoyed During the Course of this Interview

Strawberry Whale Cake
Burlington Beer Co.
Williston, VT

Sensitivity Training Juicy IPA
Aslan Brewing Co.
Bellingham, WA

DQ'd
Diamondback Brewing Co. / Max's Taphouse
Baltimore, MD
(This beer was the collaboration between Max's and Diamondback Brewing that Scooter assisted with.)

Click Here to check out the entire article as it appeared in The Journal. 

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Doug is a graduate of Albright College with a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology as well as Sociology.  He is also a talented bartender/server and enjoys writing about the licensed beverage industry.