When it comes to a good craft beer bar its about more than just have an extensive selection of beers available on draft and/or bottle. Its about how those beers are cared for, served and handled.
With the recent craft beer boom many bars are restaurants are starting to carry more beers on both draft and bottle to increase profits and of course improve customer satisfaction. However, one must be a savvy beer drinker to ensure you get a proper serving. Here are a list of somethings to look for:
- Serving Temperature – Make sure the beer is coming to you at the proper temp. A beer should be served around 40-45 degrees. While this isn’t optimal drinking temperature it allows you to enjoy the beer longer so it doesn’t get above optimal temp and taste funny before you are done with it. Now if drinking Coors Light, Bud Light or any of those as cold as possible is best because you wouldn’t truly want to taste that.
- Cleanliness – This part is two fold and the biggest issue in my eyes. First there is the glassware, a clean glass ensures that you are enjoying a beer without getting any ill affects. If carbonation is sticking to the side of the glass then you know its dirty and it can produce off-flavors. Secondly there is the draught system, a dirty system is a terrible thing. Some places change beer often and that is expected and they all bleed the lines to run the new beer through. However, about every 3 months the lines need to all be chemically cleaned to avoid any beer deposits or buildups to ensure they continue to serve good beer.
- Proper Serving – Not all beer should be served in a pint glass. Some beers are stronger and will benefit more from a tulip and/or snifter style glass (Glassware 101). Don’t be offended if you order a beer and are not being given a pint. You are being given a proper pour to enhance the enjoyment of your beer.
- Atmosphere – This one is more important than some realize. Heck who I am kidding atmosphere is probably the most important thing to most as you want to enjoy the place you are drinking at. This one is all based on personal preference and there is no right or wrong here.
- Beer List – A good beer bar with a large selection of bottles and draft should have a list that is organized in a way that makes sense. In my opinion it must at least include the following: beer name, brewery name, style and ABV. I personally don’t care for ratings and stuff. A more detailed list with a brief description is always welcome as well.
Anyways, I am sure there is stuff I am forgetting. If so let me know in the comments and as always enjoy your beer, share your knowledge and educate others to drink better but without being a dick about it. Just because you drink better beer or know more than someone doesn’t make you a better person if you still act like an ass.
And that’s … From My Mellin!