Author Topic: Boring 92 beer selection  (Read 1541 times)

Offline erockrph

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Boring 92 beer selection
« on: February 24, 2016, 03:17:44 PM »
I have to admit that I am now officially a spoiled beer snob. Last night I went out with some friends to a pub that heavily promotes their large beer selection. I spent a good 10 minutes going over their beer menu and was really rather disappointed. Ten or fifteen years ago a bar that offered 30 or more beers was generally a place that I'd go out of my way to visit just for the beer selection.

This bar had over 90 beers available, but the choices were primarily the flagship beers and IPA/Session IPA/Specialty IPA's from many big regional and national craft breweries. There were no sour beers, little to no presence from our up and coming local scene, and barely any imports. The only German lager was Warsteiner, they only had 2 English ales, and despite being called "The Abbey", the only trappist beer on the list was "Chimay" (your guess is as good as mine as to which Chimay it is). I normally get a sampler tray or two at a bar like this to try out all of my "want list" from their beer selection. Last night I struggled just to find two different beers that I wanted to drink.

The kicker for me was the sign for the Goose Island Tap Takeover in the men's room. I've come to the realization that "craft beer" is on its way to killing real craft beer.

All that said, the food was excellent and the beer was served properly and in good condition. I really enjoyed Old Speckled Hen on draft. I've only had it in clear bottles and nitro can in the past. On tap with the proper CO2 carbonation it is a really nice beer.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2016, 03:31:14 PM »
I'm going to agree with you.  I *think* the reason is distributors and/or the corporate heads of restaurants.  For them, beer selection is a bottom line thing rather than a beer experience thing.  Think the movie Office Space with a required number of pieces of 'flair' on the waitress's uniform. Flair = number of taps.

I can go to the local (insert big name chain restaurant) and have a hard time finding a beer I want out of 30 taps.  I can go to the local beer shop owned by a couple that loves good beer and out of the 25 taps I have a hard time deciding which beer to drink because the good choices are too many.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 03:56:23 PM »
Couldn't agree more, Steve. I think it's getting easier and easier to advertise a large beer menu and get set up with a bunch of "safe" beers from a distributor. This place was advertised as a burger and beer bar, but it's really just a burger bar with a large, uninspired beer list.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2016, 04:01:50 PM »
Sounds like my bog standard experience with the Yard House - woo - so many taps - so many meh choices. When they first opened up the very first locations here in LA, it was that same thing but all the taps were some crappy pilsner thing. Now it's all IPAs.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2016, 04:06:09 PM »
My favorite thing about yard house is the $1 premium I get to pay for a 32oz beer that is warm by the time I get through the first pint.

One thing I miss about Dallas was the local pride. Texans love Texas beers.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2016, 04:15:21 PM »
I share the frustration, but replace "sours" with "good session beers" ("session" IPA doesn't fit my definition of a good session beer) and you're closer to what I'm looking for.

Why then the focus on IPAs, APAs that masquerade as IPA, and only a few other styles? Because they sell. And it seems the craft beer drinkers really aren't that different from the oldschool BMC drinkers. IPA is this era what bottled Budweiser was to the 50's/60's: the cool thing to drink.

I'm becoming convinced that the average craft beer drinker is really not that discerning. The average homebrewer, however...

Yard house is overrated. I've been to the one in Palmdale, a coworker tried their "Maryland Crab Cake" appetizer to see how they stacked up.

They were about 1.5" diameter and a half inch tall. No Old Bay. About 4 bites of food, and I think he spent $20 on them.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2016, 04:22:14 PM »
I'm going to agree with you.  I *think* the reason is distributors and/or the corporate heads of restaurants.  For them, beer selection is a bottom line thing rather than a beer experience thing.  Think the movie Office Space with a required number of pieces of 'flair' on the waitress's uniform. Flair = number of taps.

I can go to the local (insert big name chain restaurant) and have a hard time finding a beer I want out of 30 taps.  I can go to the local beer shop owned by a couple that loves good beer and out of the 25 taps I have a hard time deciding which beer to drink because the good choices are too many.


Totally agree - good Office Space analogy. These places feel the pressure to have several taps to be competitive with other similar places, and the actual beer quality is often secondary. But you're right - there are a few taprooms and beer pubs around here where the owner is obviously a beer lover and seeks out top notch, hard to find beers. Craft beer is getting like your favorite band before they signed to the big label. You felt like every song was for you and you loved their whole vibe, and then they went big, polished their sound, and started writing sappy ballads.   
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2016, 05:00:20 PM »
More is not necessarily better. 92 taps might bring people in who feel like they must be able to find something they like. People who are not well versed in craft beer they are likely to be overwhelmed, shrug and order whatever name is most familiar. Craft beer snobs expect 92 taps to carry enough diversity to find something interesting. Then we end up with the same beer selection available in the grocery store. It's not that those beers are bad but I wonder why I am paying a premium for the same beers at a fungible bar experience. I also know there is no way they are turning over 92 taps with regularity so the freshness of the beer is questionable. If you're carrying 30 IPAs that's a problem.

Give me a far smaller selection with a well curated tap wall. It doesn't have to be exotic or hyped up beers but just a good mix that includes a range of styles and includes some quality local options. I would rather give my money to a local business that appreciates craft beer like I do and really cares about my experience over a shotgun approach.
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Offline ethinson

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2016, 07:03:46 PM »
More is not necessarily better. 92 taps might bring people in who feel like they must be able to find something they like. People who are not well versed in craft beer they are likely to be overwhelmed, shrug and order whatever name is most familiar. Craft beer snobs expect 92 taps to carry enough diversity to find something interesting. Then we end up with the same beer selection available in the grocery store. It's not that those beers are bad but I wonder why I am paying a premium for the same beers at a fungible bar experience. I also know there is no way they are turning over 92 taps with regularity so the freshness of the beer is questionable. If you're carrying 30 IPAs that's a problem.

Give me a far smaller selection with a well curated tap wall. It doesn't have to be exotic or hyped up beers but just a good mix that includes a range of styles and includes some quality local options. I would rather give my money to a local business that appreciates craft beer like I do and really cares about my experience over a shotgun approach.

I can't recall the name of it off the top of my head but there's a place in Raleigh North Carolina that just opened up with 300 taps.  I believe they have three levels, the top level being all NC local beers, the middle like Belgians and Sours or something like that and then the bottom level being all the big name nationwide distributed stuff, so supposedly something for everyone.  I didn't get the chance to go there while I was visiting the East Coast over Christmas but the review I kept reading over and over and over on Yelp and Google was that all that beer was going to go sour and funky because there's no way they were turning it over fast enough.  They've have to be blowing 100 kegs a night.  I appreciate the focus on local but the rest just seems like overkill.  On the one hand I wanted to try it out, but after reading the reviews I wasn't sure it'd  be worth it. 

Another major complaint was the waitstaff had no clue what was on the taplist.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 08:06:18 PM »
I've been to one of these places.  Once.

It was essentially a glorified sports bar near a college.  They did have a wide variety of beers, many of the better selections in bottles and not on tap, but the ambiance was terrible.  Like a Chili's.  Very corporate.

It also seemed like it was geared toward a much younger crowd than what I am today. 

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Offline Hickory

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Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2016, 08:33:02 PM »


One thing I miss about Dallas was the local pride. Texans love Texas beers.

You've got that right! I actually went to a yard house in Vegas last March, super excited to find some beers I couldn't get back home, only to find they carried the same Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada beers I could get in Fort Worth. It definitely made me appreciate some of the local beer bars I have here. Not a huge national variety, but the DFW brew scene is exploding with good non-IPA beers.

Offline beersk

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2016, 11:35:29 PM »

I'm becoming convinced that the average craft beer drinker is really not that discerning. The average homebrewer, however...



THIS right here. I've been thinking this for quite some time. So many of the "craft beer" bars have nothing but IPAs and Imperial stouts on tap, nothing but super high abv stuff. It's annoying. There's a place called El Bait Shop in Des Moines that has over 100 taps and I looked at the menu for 10 minutes, like Eric, couldn't find a damn thing I wanted. The IPA and stout list was HUGE, there were no lagers, no wheat beers, a few sours (which I don't drink). It was ridiculous. Plus, if they had something like Chimay it would be like $9 a pour. Screw that.
I mean, seriously, how much IPA can one take? There's more to beer than hops.
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Offline euge

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 03:32:22 AM »

One thing I miss about Dallas was the local pride. Texans love Texas beers.

I drank a lot of Shiner last year. A lot.

And it was good.

Now it's not.

We're all jaded and our tastes have changed. Can't hardly stand an IPA now.

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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2016, 04:00:55 AM »
A tap house at a good brewery is the best way to go. They won't have 90 or even 30 beers, but, they will have beer made by someone who loves beer.

Offline theoman

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Re: Boring 92 beer selection
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2016, 10:30:53 AM »
I love the micropub thing going on in the UK. Just a few, well-chosen taps kept in excellent condition.