Share Your Passion: Beertender Jeff Monnig on Music

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My name is Jeff Monnig and I buy records.

The record store has always been a second home for me. Ever since I was a really young kid, I’ve spent a lot of time looking through different albums and imagining what they might sound like, just based on their cover art. When I was around 10 or so, I started riding my bike to the local music store to listen to and buy new music.

When I was about 14, I started buying LPs. I didn’t even have a turntable at the time, but anytime I went to a friend’s house whose parents had one, I would bring my records over to listen to them with my friends. I started my collection out by buying older punk rock and hardcore records and I had a few people in my life that introduced me to some great music and showed me some things that I should look for. When I was 18, my parents bought me a turntable as a high school graduation gift. I had already built up a pretty small collection by that time and was ready to start listening to albums. I immediately started buying more and more records and spending more and more of my paycheck at the record store.

To me, records are just as much pieces of visual art as they are collections of music. Being able to look at an actual piece of large artwork, being able to read the lyrics and liner notes, just being able to touch and smell the actual artifact is so much more interesting to me than just seeing a tiny picture on my iPhone or computer screen. I also really like how records encourage the listener to listen to the album from beginning to end, which I think is pretty important when it comes to appreciating a collection of music.

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Right now, my collection is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 LPs and at least 300 7”s. I don’t really try to collect a specific style or genre of music, although I would say that the majority of my collection is still made up of punk and indie rock music. Lately I’ve been trying to build up my funk and soul collections, as well as my “weird film scores” collection. Recently, I’ve really been into interpretations of western music from eastern countries. I’ve got a couple compilations of psychedelic rock from Taiwan, Korea, and Nigeria that are just unreal. It’s great because there are infinite collections of music in any genre to discover, which will turn you on to more artists and releases you didn’t know about, which will turn you on to more releases and artists, and on and on…

Vinyl has become increasingly popular in the last few years, which has made record shopping a lot easier and a lot more fun. For a long time, there weren’t many good record stores in my area and I would have to make a whole trip out of record shopping. Luckily, due to the resurgence of vinyl, there are a lot of great nearby places to go. Places like Burger Records in Fullerton (which is conveniently located about a mile from The Bruery Tasting Room!), Port of Sound and Factory Records (both in Costa Mesa), and Left of the Dial Records in Santa Ana are great places that always have great selections. Long Beach has great places like Third Eye Records and Fingerprints, which is one of the greatest record stores ever. Speaking of greatest stores ever, Amoeba Records in Hollywood is a place that I could easily spend an entire day in and spend half of my yearly wages if I’m left alone too long.

Records have become a very big part of who I am. If I have any free time at home, I more often than not find myself looking online for new releases with special pre-order editions, or for old and rare records that have managed to elude me. It’s a great feeling to come home and have a record-shaped package on the porch waiting for me, or to come home from a record store with a new stack of vinyl to listen to. Every time, it’s something new and every time it’s just as exciting. I can’t see myself ever getting tired of it.

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Sitting in front of the majority of my collection.

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The pink in this record comes from the lead singer’s blood, which was added during production. 1 of 200.

Here’s a little list of some great record stores in the area:

Online Stores:


Tasting Room Bartender Jeff Monnig is a regular dude. He likes good beer, good music, the Lakers, and jump high-fives, and the cinematic masterpiece Point Break staring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.


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