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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