Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Can Beer Do For You?

I already asked you if American craft beer has gone over the top. It's a loaded question, but I wrote an article about it anyway. It's in the latest issue of Draft and appeared on the website this morning.

Here's the nut of it: "Has the cool craft beer Fonz finally jumped the proverbial shark? Aren’t we forgetting about the Richie Cunninghams of the world, who just want a flavorful glass of something drinkable—or, preferably, several glasses—in a friendly place at a fair price?"

I'd like to see more of that. No surprise if you read this blog on occasion.

Here's what I'd like to know: What would you like to see? What can breweries or pubs in your region or country do better for you?

And do you have an opportunity to vote for that preference with your hard-earned duckets?


  1. I think, as I wrote about last week, pubs should offer a more diverse range of beer styles rather than being top heavy with hoppy pale ale and barleywines.

  2. Beer suited to a big glass. Imperial pint, liter mug, mason jar...

  3. Velky: By barley wine do you mean anything above a certain strength, say 8%? Or specifically the barley wine style? Because I think I've seen too many of the former and maybe not enough of the latter. Anyway I'd love to see a wider range at the lower ABVs. But could it be that what we see in the taphouses--lots of IPAs and strong ales--is just what sells the most?

    Tim: Agreed.

  4. In general, more variety. Most bars in my town offer little variety, and what variety they do offer is limited to beers I used to think were stellar, but have since moved away from. Specifically speaking of breweries in my locale: do something that pushes boundaries, even if it's just style guidelines.

  5. One of the bars nearby in Milwaukee specializes in German beer on tap (as well as a few Belgians such as St Bernardus 12.) They've got everything from Helles to Dopplebock, so there's wiggle room for those that want session beers and those that want something big.

    What I really appreciate about the place is they have at least 5, if not more, different sized glasses and ask what you'd prefer when you order. There's everything from little sampler glasses to mugs well over a liter. I think I've even seen a couple of those big glass boots around somewhere in back, although I can't imagine someone actually drinking from one.

    The variety of style coupled with variety of glassware make this a great place to drink with friends on any occasion. I'd love to see more pubs at least offer the range of glasses, even if their menus stay similar. (Now if only they started carrying Dupont, Cantillon, etc like the place down the street!)

  6. That is a really encouraging trend: taphouses with variety selling beer in glasses of various sizes.

    It's especially encouraging because many of those draft lists are heavy on the high-abv side, and there is an option for a 3 or 4 oz glass. Most of the time that's all I want from a barley wine: a nice taste and then move on to the next.

    I'm also happy to see more 16 or 20 oz glasses... Unfortunately there are too few sub-5% beers to go in them, over and over.