A JAZZ GUITAR leans against an armchair in a corner of Adam Schmidt's Old City office.
"I don't play it nearly as much as I used to, which is actually why I brought it to the office," says Schmidt, 31. "At home, I don't find enough time to play. So I try to take a break and play every once in a while."
It's ironic, Schmidt admits: He has too much work at home, so he brings his personal life to the office. More often than not, the two worlds are one and the same for the young entrepreneur.
After all, Schmidt, who hails from Ephrata in Lancaster County, built his professional success on the average guy's escape from the grind: beer.
Schmidt, the founder and president of Drink Nation - a collaborative, interactive bar guide tailored to individual cities' craft-beer cultures - doesn't know the concept of "off time." The concept started with Drink Philly, and now includes Drink D.C., Drink Baltimore and a handful of others, including the soon-to-be-launched Drink NYC.
Ask how he spends his days off, and Schmidt will tell you he goes out bar-hopping, searching for the newest drinks and getting to know local bartenders.
"My life doesn't really have so much of a personal life anymore," he says, lounging Sunday afternoon on a leather couch in the Drink Philly office, sipping on a local microbrew. "My personal life has become my profession."
If the line between work and play doesn't exist for him, it's OK with Schmidt, who lives with his wife in the Art Museum area. ("She knows actually probably way more than I do" about beer, he says.)
In conversation, he doesn't stray far from the topic of brews. He loves to travel - often to cities where new Drink Nation sites are launching. He frequents Philly's restaurant scene and breweries - to make connections and gather material for the website.
He loves art, so he's gotten Drink Philly involved with Old City's First Fridays.
Some days, he watches movies. He reads books. Every now and then, he dusts off the guitar and plucks out some jazz chords. With a beer.
- Ali Watkins