America’s palate is changing. Everyday, more folks are choosing artfully crafted beers that complement their food and expand their taste horizons. Experts are projecting this trend will continue. A crafty bar-owner or restaurateur can capitalize on the craft beer phenomena and increase beer sales with a strong craft beer list. This post will explain how you can craft [oh I’m on a roll now] a craft beer list that will increase beer sales and turn your local beer aficionados into your regulars.
The India Pale Ale is the quintessential craft beer in the last few years. Unfortunately, too many bars seem to think craft beer drinkers always want IPAs because they sell the most. Folks who choose craft beer want to have choices!
“Variety is the spice of life and platitudes will make you money!” — Alexander the Great
Make room for new beers from local breweries.
Offering new and/or small-batch beers shows that you’re in tune with the local craft community and that you’re committed to giving your customers a novel experience. Monitor how quickly it takes you to go through a keg – your customers speak with their wallets, so be sure to reorder the local beers that do well.
Pick beers that match the climate and season.
Hot summer days get most craft beer drinkers thirsting for lighter, straw-gold colored beers and fruit-citrus flavors. These characteristics are found commonly in wheat beers such as German weizenbier (including hefeweizen) and Belgian witbier.
Cold winter nights call for dark beers such as stouts, porters, and scotch ales for many. These dark beers are generally higher ABV and contain sweet and smoky flavors that people associate with warmth. They’re perfect when your beer blanket could use an extra layer!
Pick beers that complement the food being served.
Creativity is generally a good thing in craft beer. Subsequently, craft beers can vary substantially within the same style. This makes using a generic beer-food pairing guide difficult for crafts. Breweries such as Bell’s Brewery Inc., Shipyard Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and Monday Night Brewing understand that struggle.
For instance, at Monday Night Brewing, we recognize that Fu Manbrew is no ordinary Belgian-style wit. We throw a smidge of ginger into Fu Manbrew which imparts subtle ginger aroma and flavor. Like most Witbiers, Fu Manbrew pairs excellently with fish and citrus fruits. Unlike most Witbiers, Fu Manbrew also pairs fantastically with salads and spicy foods. Monday Night, the previously mentioned breweries, and many others recognize that each beer has its own unique characteristics and shedding light on those variations will help everyone make most of their dining experiences.
Be on the lookout for the next post in this series. We’ll be discussing how to balance mainstream and craft beers to increase beer sales and profits for your bar or restaurant.