Joe Godino: “These Two Worlds Go Together. It’s So Cool to Be on Both Ends.”
As part of our partnership with Philly Beer Scene magazine, we’re documenting Philly’s relationships between music and beer. For a recent issue of Philly Beer Scene, G.W. Miller III caught up with Joe Godino, the drummer for The Menzingers who also pours beer at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company. Photo by Jessica Flynn.
Every once in a while, someone will approach Joe Godino while he’s pouring drafts at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company’s tasting room and they’ll say, “Just so you know, I’m a huge fan of The Menzingers.”
It’s infrequent – and flattering, says Godino, the drummer for the Philly-based punk quartet.
More frequently, he says, people ask him if he knows he looks like Jimmy Fallon. He gets that at least ten times per week.
“I don’t know,” Godino says with a laugh. “Maybe it’s an older crowd?”
For the last year or so, in between touring and writing new material with his bandmates, he has been tending bar at the Croydon brewery that has so many music connections.
The Menzingers were born out of a Scranton ska/punk band called Bob and The Sagets. Godino formed the band with childhood friends Tom May and Eric Keen. They picked up Greg Barnett after seeing him playing Against Me! songs at a show with an acoustic guitar.
They became The Menzingers, releasing their first demo tape in 2006. That year, they signed with Go-Kart Records. They’ve been on a whirlwind of success for the last decade, releasing four albums and performing around the world to adoring fans.
“The brewery thing is the only job I’ve had in a few years,” Godino says. “It just fell into my lap.”
Godino knew Neshaminy’s Philadelphia sales manager, Eric Jensen. Jensen had worked at the Bucks County based punk label Jump Start Records, which was founded by Neshaminy Creek’s co-founder and head brewer, Jeremy Myers.
“I’ll mop the floors, you know, make a few bucks.” Godino remembers telling Jensen last spring.
“It all fell into place in, like, 30 seconds,” Jensen says.
Godino started working at the brewery a few days later. Many of his co-workers are also musicians, friends of Myers via Jump Start.
“Working there is like being in a band,” Godino says. “We’re all into the same stuff.”
He didn’t have a beer background but last year, when The Menzingers toured with Taking Back Sunday, Godino and his bandmates tried to find a brewpub in every city they visited. They hit more than 20 locations. That inspired him to learn more about the brewing process.
Last summer, Godino and Jensen were hanging out, talking about bands that had collaborated with breweries, like NOFX and Champion Brewing Company.
“Dude, we got to make it happen,” Jensen told Godino.
In October, the guys from The Menzingers spent time at the brewery weighing hops, stirring ingredients, taste testing and learning about the whole process. The result was a hoppy Imperial American-style Kolsch that they named Menzinger.
“It wasn’t a jab at Kenzinger. It was just obvious,” Godino says, noting that when The Menzingers moved to Philadelphia from Scranton in 2008, they had Menzinger T-shirts printed in the style of the Kenzinger logo.
In December, Neshaminy celebrated the launch of the new brew with a show that featured Barnett and May performing acoustic for around 300 people.
Godino and Keen served as celebrity bartenders.