Is Gerry Yemen the mysterious Smithwick's beer lover?
When the Shebeen restaurant discontinued Smithwick's beer on tap, owner Walter Slawski didn't expect there to be much of a fuss over the disappearance of the historic Irish ale, which dates to the early 18th century. But within weeks of its disappearance from the beer menu, Slawski and his staff soon learned that someone wasn't happy. Anonymous postcards began arriving to the restaurant from as far away as Canada, and while they weren't exactly threatening, the message was unmistakable.
“The first one said, ‘Dear Mr. Shebeen, just sitting here in the back of a pick-up truck in Nelson County with a dog, drinking some swill,’ and it was signed something like ‘Smithwick’s-missing Shebeen customer,'" Slawski recalls. The postcards kept coming– at least eight more.
“It was fun,” he says, noting that the staff enjoyed them so much they displayed three of them over the bar. Even though they didn't know who'd written the notes, Slawski says, they brought back the Smithwick's.
So who is the mysterious Smithwick's beer lover? Dish has a prime suspect.
"I love Smithwick’s," Shebeen regular Gerry Yemen confesses, acknowledging that her heart sank when her favorite beer disappeared from the beer list. "The waitress just says, ‘Oh we don’t have it anymore,'" Yemen recalls. "And I say, ‘What do you mean you don’t have it anymore?’ I thought, ‘How can that be?’”
Yemen, who was born in Canada (ahem!) says that as the Smithwick's drought continued, even the sight of a Shebeen commercial was salt in the wound, and she admits she would scream at her television screen, “Mr. Shebeen bring back the Smithwick’s!”
“I went back a couple of times just to see if they brought it back, and you know, I was so disappointed when it wasn’t there. And then the bartender delivered good news. I started cheering,” she says.
So did Yemen send those mysterious postcards? She's not saying.
“I’m just one of many happy Smithwick’s customers,” she smirks coyly.