A few words on beer lists

It isn’t that I think every bar and restaurant should be serving barrel aged Belgian quads, mouth puckering sour beers and barley wines, though it would make for a beer enthusiasts paradise, but every beer list should still be great.

The case of five international lagers …

Sadness is a beer list that is half international lagers; I’m looking at you Stella, Heineken, Peroni, Corona, Becks, Kirin and Asahi. It’s like having a food menu with five chicken breast dishes. Even if you really like international lagers/chicken breast two choices is probably enough. Lets have some variety please.

There’s more than two Australian light beers …

Following in the footsteps of Little Creatures Rogers’, a 3.8% ABV amber ale, more and more craft breweries are adding lower alcohol beers to their range. Responsible drinking never tasted so damn good. By all means, keep a light lager beer but why not a something crafty too?

Everyone has to stock it …

Corona isn’t compulsory. Yes it’s popular but it’s not mandatory. I have had many conversations with people who don’t want to stock Corona yet believe they must. Has anyone ever walked out of a bar because they couldn’t get a Corona? I doubt it. If you want to sell it, that’s fine but if you don’t want to then don’t, honestly, I reckon it will be fine.

Show some beer love …

Weeks if not months of work go into putting a food menu together, same for wine and cocktail lists so why does it sometimes feel like the beer list gets about ten minutes of consideration? It’s like getting dressed up for a black tie event and then wearing your thongs. I am not saying all beer menus should be 100% craft but they should represent the venue. Take pride in a wine list that is all West Australian? It is super easy to approach your beer list in the same way. Make noise about the kitchen sourcing local ingredients from small producers? Chat with local craft brewers.

Bigger isn’t always better …

Really long beer lists aren’t always great. As always it is quality and not quantity that counts most. Extensive beer lists can be great in the right place but in some cases it’s a matter of lots of overlapping beers, hard to view fridges and aging stock. Small and high rotational lists can be just as interesting as long, complex ones.


5 thoughts on “A few words on beer lists”

  1. Couldn’t agree more, Pia.

    I went to a winery near my parents’ place recently who are well known for spruiking local produce on their menu and criticising local businesses for not stocking their wine. The beer they had on offer were the standard international industrial lagers, the standard domestic industrial lagers and the Little Creatures Pale (brewed two states away). All this when there are no less than 15 local brewers with bottles and cans on the market.

    This was one of the major things that struck me when I was in Seattle early this year. Every bar or restaurant I went to had plenty of local offerings to go with the bigger boys (if they were on the list at all). They weren’t making a big deal about buying local, it was just the done thing.

    1. That example and exactly what I don’t understand. Local craft is so accessible on every count – price, availability through wholesalers and distributors – why beer get so neglected is beyond me

  2. Well said Pia, It’s always funny going into a venue with a focus on local produce yet they have Corona on the menu.

    I think it comes down to staff training as well. If you don’t have the product a customer wants then it’s an opportunity to up sell and show them something new.

    Here here to craft beer.

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