Expert Tips on Building a Spring-Inspired Beer List

Expert Tips on Building a Spring-Inspired Beer List

By Fred Crudder, Foodable Industry Expert

Historically, there are certainly examples of springtime beer releases. Marzen is a traditional German style of beer brewed in the fall, matured over the long winter, and released in March. Also from Germany, a Maibock is a light-bodied version of a strong lager (bock) that is released in spring. In Belgium, the refreshing and funky Sasion style is brewed with a relatively high alcohol content specifically so it can keep over the winter. These beers were consumed as the spring planting began, when people knew that fresh supplies of grain were on the way to brew more beer. These examples, however, were born out of necessity. They were not chosen because of how perfectly they fit with spring weather. 

Odd Man Out

One reason that spring beers suffer from an identity crisis has to do with who they are up against. Fall beers are hearty, sometimes spiced with cinnamon and other pie spices, or they might showcase the bounty of the year’s hop harvest. Winter beers are generally dark, strong, and complex. They are decadent and festive. When summer rolls around, the beers are light and refreshing, perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day. All of these beers are not only suited perfectly for their seasons, they are eagerly anticipated by their fans. Spring beer? Well, they seem to suffer from being not as interesting as fall and winter beers, just taking up space on the calendar until the summer beers arrive.

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The 6 Beer Styles Every Beverage Program Should Have

The 6 Beer Styles Every Beverage Program Should Have

By Justin Dolezal, Foodable Contributor

The craft beer movement has exploded in recent years, in terms of both quality and popularity. The movement shows no signs of slowing down, as new breweries are constantly opening, offering a range of diverse and delicious products to consumers who are all too happy to pay for quality brews. The days of being able to offer a few different macro-beers along with Blue Moon as a “craft” option are over. This provides both a problem and an exciting opportunity for bar owners and restaurateurs: patrons want more high quality beer, and they want options. Luckily, there are far more styles of beer than taps available at the average bar, and selecting between quality beer options is an enviable task indeed. If your establishment serves food, you have an even greater opportunity, as beers can be selected which will complement and elevate your menu items. The following is a list of beer styles that every bar or restaurant should keep on hand.

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Chefs Helping Craft the Future of Craft Beer

Beer_Batter

The game of craft beer is no longer just played by brewers -- chefs have now joined the team to help knock craft beer out of the ball park. As the way to pair beer and food together to create adventurous tastes becomes more of an art, the popularity of craft beer in the United States continues to grow domestically and internationally. According to the Brewer's Association, it has increased by 22 percent to $19.6 billion. 

As a whole, the growth of beer in the last 25 years is off the charts. Just seven years ago, most people wouldn't opt for a sour beer, but the nation's taste buds are more willing to try new flavors. More and more restaurant chefs are responding to these changing interests by utilizing beer in their recipes. Porters and stouts make mushroom sauces and other reduction sauces beautifully deep and shiny, and add a rich touch to roasted meat.

The working relationship between chef and brewer is constantly evolving and improving with every conversation. Unlike when working with wineries, which bottle their products once a year, breweries can adapt to the chef's unique style and needs by switching up malts and hops.

This team work is pleasing palates everywhere. How will this dynamic duo affect the restaurant and hospitality industry in the future? Read More

The Explosive Growth of Craft Beer in America

The Explosive Growth of Craft Beer in America

Part One of a Three-Part Series on the State of the Craft Beer Industry in America

By Bill Sysak, Foodable Industry Expert

This year is a milestone in the craft beer industry. As any beer historian will tell you, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the craft beer revolution beginning.

How it All Started

The transformation first started brewing in 1965, when Fritz Maytag, who was a recent graduate of Stanford University and the great-grandson of Maytag Corp. founder, Frederick Louis Maytag I, was sitting in his favorite bar at North Beach San Francisco while enjoying his favorite beer.

A beauty called Anchor Steam.

Its producer, Anchor Brewing Company, was one of the last regional breweries left in America that made a beer other than an American adjunct lager. (You know American adjunct lagers, those beers with mountains on the can that turn blue when it gets cold or the ones with big shaggy horses kicking footballs in commercials during the Super Bowl. But anyway, let’s get back to Fritz.)

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Constructing a World-Class Beer List

Constructing a World-Class Beer List

By Fred Crudder, Industry Brew Expert

It’s official: high-quality, real, flavorful beer is hotter than ever before. If this is news to you, well, then, let me welcome you to what we here call “Planet Earth.” Hopefully, you come in peace. But if you came here with an insatiable appetite for human flesh, may I recommend the wine drinkers over there? We beer drinkers, based on our propensity for hops, tend to be a little bitter. You wouldn’t like us at all. But the wine drinkers are very juicy. Eat them.

All joking aside, if you are in the restaurant business, you already know that good beer is where it’s at these days. What you might not know is how you can craft a beer list that shows the beer lovers of the world that you know your stuff when it comes to suds. It’s no simple task, but just like a well-chosen wine list, the right beer list can tell your customers a lot about your place. Whether you run a corner pub, a casual restaurant or a white-tablecloth dining room, you need to pick your beers carefully. And I’m here to show you how.   

Identify Your Identity

Who are you and who are your customers? Your beer list needs to reflect who you are and it needs to make sense to the people you serve. Do you serve upscale, Asian fusion to middle-aged suburbanites? Probably wouldn’t need to go too heavy on the dark and mysterious Belgian ales. Are you doing traditional Italian fare? Then you might not need too many of those IPAs you’ve been hearing so much about. But by choosing beers that make sense, you can offer your guests a beer list that shows a great deal of forethought and consideration, regardless of your restaurant’s concept.

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