Old and new bars alike are beginning to catch/ride the craft beer tsunami, which is awesome. The problem is, there are some major craft beer bar faux pas that sometimes put me into a Vegeta rage. Below are a list of items that I wanted to address in hopes to help your budding bar out and to put it nicely, stop pissing me off. Before I start this list I’m not trying to be this prissy, uptight, beer snob I’m just laying out some ground rules for bars to take heed to and make sure it doesn’t happen at your bar, which will help to increase your revenue and be a place craft beer lovers WANT to go to. (listed in order of most rage inducing first)
1) Labeling American Beers as Imports
I understand that you want to charge more for craft beer because it costs more per keg but don’t run a special on domestic beers and not include American Craft Brewers. Sam Admas, Sierra Nevada, Stone, etc are all American brewers not imported from some foreign country. Just change the name of your special to “Macro Brew Special” and I would be okay but don’t alienate products made in the USA as if they are some illegal keg you smuggled across the border just for us. To be honest a D-bag move like that is a one way ticket for a tall glass of water so get on it and stop pissing me off.
2) Not Having a Beer Menu
It doesn’t have to be a huge bible of beers just one page with these key items: Beer, Style, ABV, IBU, Price, Pour Size and a short description of the beer. Stop being lazy get on the internet (wait your on the internet right now … MIND BLOWN) and get the info.
3) Not Having Proper Glassware
Ok so I have been to a few bars where I get a bottle of a craft beer and no glass. HULK RAGE!!!! If you want to be serious about beer, serve it in a proper glass. It doesn’t have to be a glass specifically designed for that beer (which is always an awesome bonus) but at the very least hand the patron a pint glass. Oh and if I get another frosted mug for my Belgian Quad again I will literally Hulk Smash your bar!
4) Uneducated Wait Staff
Make sure that when you make a beer list that you give a copy to your staff so that they too can become familiar with the beers. If you haven’t created a beer list at the very least make sure your staff knows every beer you carry. Your staff should have a general understanding of beer, so that when a patron asks something like “what lagers do you have” they don’t look foolish.
If you have a decent selection on tap offer flights aka samplers of a few beers.
Also if you have a decent tap selection offer growlers 64 ounce and 32 ounce. Buy custom growlers on-line and sell them to patrons in your bar that want to take the delicious tap brew home. You can get the growlers customized with your bar logo which increases brand awareness.
I hope this quick run down gives you a starting point to help you become a better craft beer bar. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you.