Craft beer is about the experience. The occasional beer alone in front of the TV is fine, but it's much more fun to combine your drinking experience with a fun outing.
Now, maybe you'd like to drink craft beer outside the house more often, but the venues you visit only serve BMC beer. I know how you feel…
I think we can agree that almost every place that serves alcohol needs a better beer selection, period. There are some specific locations, however, where good beer should be a big part of the experience but the selection is piss poor.
Let's take a look at some of these places, and then tell me in the comments where you would like to see a better craft beer selection.
99% of restaurants need a better craft beer selection, but there are two types in particular that I would like to focus on. The first are fine dining establishments. My friend Ashley aka The Beer Wench nails these places to the wall in one of her classic rants.
As she says:
“Nothing, and I mean nothing, turns me off more than going to a prestigious restaurant with an acclaimed executive chef, with one of the most amazing menus and wine lists in the world… and witnessing them serve mass-produced corporate beer.”
I couldn't agree more. If I'm paying a fortune for a meal, there better be some damn good beer on the menu. How can a restaurant promote flavorful food while serving bland beer?
It's something that needs changing.
Mexican restaurants are one of my favorite places to eat, but let's face it, the beer usually sucks. This is a typical beer list:
- Dos Equis
- Negra Modelo
I get it – the restaurant is trying to stick to a theme. They want you to get lost in the experience and think that you are really south of the border. Unfortunately that means serving “authentic” Mexican beer that all tastes very similar, in a bland and flavorless sort of way.
Honestly, they're not fooling anybody. Let's put aside the fact that a lot of the Mexican food in America is actually Tex-Mex. Some good beer on the menu fars outweighs any fantasy that I'm actually in Mexico.
It's too bad because craft beer goes so well with Mexican food. Citrusy hops are a fantastic pairing with lime, salsa, and cilantro, but alas, hops are nowhere to be found at these places!
The Mexican beer at Mexican restaurant charade is lame – get some good stuff on the menu.
Beer and baseball. Beer and football. Beer and
soccer basketball. You can't properly root for your team without a beer in hand.
I'm lucky enough to live in Denver where the selection at Coors Field (ironically) is decent compared to most places. We have Dale's, 90 Shilling, and Fat Tire, but the dissapointing “World of Beer” tent is filled with Heinekin and Stella Artois. How exotic.
Baseball is my #1 sport and America's pastime. Baseball stadiums should therefore carry a variety of American beers in addition to their foreign beers like Bud, Miller, and Coors.
I think there is also a big opportunity here for white label beers. That is, a team hires a brewery to brew a beer and the team puts their logo on it. Maybe there are some legal issues with this, but I'd love to drink an Orioles IPA as I watch them choke late in a game.
Like sporting events, music and craft beer go great together. If you're watching live music at a bar or smaller venue, then there is a good chance that craft beer will be on hand. When you go to a larger concert venue, however, the selection is disappointing.
Take for example my recent experience at Red Rocks Amphitheater. It's a crunchy place in a great beer state, so you'd think that they would have a great beer selection. Here are the three beers that were available in the “craft beer” tent:
- Colorado Native
- Boulder Beer Single Track
I really need to do a post on false advertising…
Anyways, craft beer needs to have a better presence at large music venues. They are both works of art, after all.
When I studied abroad in Europe, I was surprised to see that they serve alcohol at their movie theaters. I was even more surprised that I never realized how American theaters are boozeless.
That seems to be slowly changing. There is a chain of movie theaters in my hometown that serve beer and an indy joint here in Denver that has a good selection of Colorado brews. For the most part, however, the major megaplexes like Regal and AMC have zilch for alcohol.
As I said in my last post, I'm a movie fanatic, and would love to watch a movie at these theaters with a beer in my armrest.
I've only been on one cruise which was on a Carnival ship, though I imagine others cruise lines are similar in their beer selection – it was non-existent.
Sure they had 20 different variations of Bud and Miller, but craft beer was nowhere in sight.
It would have been nice to drink a Cigar City brew while doing the Cha-Cha Slide, but instead I choose a steady diet of Pina Coladas and Bahama Mamas.
I did find this smaller cruise line which does a “Tall Sails and Ales Tour” which offers tastings and tours of craft breweries. That's what I'm talking about.