Craft Beer Bait & Switch

From the Producer, David Page: Hey, restaurant or bar owner, don’t pretend you’ve got a proper craft beer program if you don’t.

I’m seeing a disturbing trend – bars and restaurants pitching themselves to the craft beer drinker, without putting in the time or effort to back up what turns out to be BS.

With craft beer growing so quickly and getting so much publicity, it makes perfect sense for restaurant and bar owners to jump on the bandwagon. But it seems that, to many of them, it’s all about the marketing, not the follow-through.

Here’s what I’m teed-off about:

First, lousy selection. I’m seeing too many places with totally unbalanced beer lists. Everything hopped like a west coast IPA. No thought to a gateway beer. And a limited number of styles with no thought given to making sure there’s enough variety on tap to pair with everything on the menu.

No information. No descriptions of the beers or in some cases evenABV levels.

No training for servers. I asked a server the other day if the pilsner listed was German or Czech style. She told me it was from California.

Filth. Bubbles on the glass mean the glass hasn't been properly cleaned. Beer that tastes wrong means it’s likely the tap lines haven’t been cleaned since beer was invented or the beer has been sitting in the back too long.

Failure to care. I’ve explained my concerns about a particular establishment’s craft beer program to several restaurant and beer managers of late. Some seem genuinely open to the input, but several made it clear they simply don't care. Which is no way to build a base of craft beer lovers.

So hey, restaurants and bars – I’m glad you’re embracing craft beer. But do it right or don't do it at all.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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