| Musts For Beer Menus
by Dan Incaonne
Hi Bob and Friends-
Craft beer is everywhere. I've enjoyed it at airports, stadiums, sports
bars, and countless more places. —there are more people than
ever before staring at more beer choices than ever before. Even for
drinkers who consider themselves in-the-know, the options can be
dizzying. All of which means we need beer menus that are clear,
diverse, and designed to help us find our next perfect pint.
I don't want to deal with pages-long, poetic beer descriptions that
really don't mean much.. All I want in a bar is a beer menu with key
information, clean tap lines, clean glassware, knowledgeable and
welcoming bartenders, and options for all types of palates.
I especially want bars that are thinking about what we drinkers need
to find our next favorite beer. So I've come up with four simple things
that will improve beer menus in any kind of bar or restaurant..
1. Offer a variety of styles. I understand that IPAs are the most
popular and arguably most exciting style of craft beer right now, with
tons of variation within that category, so many that a bar could put
together a tap list of all IPAs and still offer a range of flavors. This
doesn’t mean it should however.
Remember malt-focused beers? Remember lagers? Sour beers?
Dry stouts?Amber ale? So offer these too and be sure to list the
beer’s style, not just its name.
2. Offer a range of ABVs in the beers you sell. Standard American
lagers fall around 5 percent ABV while a lot of common craft beer
styles are in the 6-7 percent range; and some of the most exciting,
specialty beers hover around 7-10 percent and higher. There's
room for all levels and a good bar will be pouring a variety of them.
3. Offer different-sized pours. I love the option to order a half-pint of
a stronger beer, or a taster of some things I've never heard of but
would still like to try without investing in a full pint.. I know beer flights
can be a lot of work for bartenders, but even offering half-pours
would be great to see more frequently.
4. Always include price and serving size on the menu. Far too often
one or both are not listed on beer menus regardless of the bar. It
happens in posh hotel bars, craft beer tasting room, local taverns,a
nd dive bars.
It really isn't hard for places to follow those suggestions. And even if
it were any bar that really cares about their customers should do it.
Thanks Bob. I hope you consider this to appear in your column.
Well said Dan! I couldn't agree more with your suggestions. I know of
many places that do all you suggest and more but unfortunately I've also
seen a lot that don't. Some things like putting serving size, ABV, and
price on the beer menu are basic bits of information that a consumer has
a right to know.
Many thanks for sending your article in- please write again!
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer in any way just as Dana did. I select the best and
publish them here. So join in and get writing!
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