Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just a statement

I went to Boston to get my son home for break. We were figuring to leave the following day, so I took him to dinner at the Sunset Grill, an old fave, just off campus. The Sunset has a ton of taps, but it's a big place; they go through them. So...I've gotta drive five miles to my hotel after, and I figure, go easy. Happy thing: the draft menu lists ABV! Sad thing: very few choices under 5%. Like 8 out of 100+ taps. That's it. Okay, I'll take what I can get. Waiter comes. He's out of every single sub-5% beer. HELLO! What's that tell you?! 

The lack of session-strength beers at beer bars reminds me terribly of the situation I used to run into all the time back in the early 1990s. "Those microbrews? Nah, we don't carry them: they don't sell." Hey, Einstein: if you don't carry them, they can't sell!

This year, I'm talking to bar owners/managers, and I'm encouraging you to do the same. And when you do, tell 'em you'll be there to drink the stuff! We're getting some momentum here...let's push.

Cheers! Happy New Year!


  1. I couldn't agree more. I was elated when I went to one of my regular pubs recently and found that they had put a 3.2% abv dark mild on tap. Sadly when I returned a few days later they had alreaady run out. So, it was definitely selling. The question is how many people drinking it it even knew it was only 3.2%.

  2. Well...that said, I have to be honest. Earth Bread + Brewery here in Philly had a delicious "2nd Degree Mild" on recently, and I was able to drink it for quite a while, because it just didn't sell. I've talked to several brewers who tell me "mild" on a beer is the kiss of death. Still, I have hope: "bitter" used to be the kiss of death, as recently as 5 years ago, and that's largely no longer the case.

  3. Do you come to Boston for NERAX? We have lots of sessions beers then.

  4. I had one of my Session beers on at the Sunset back in early summer. It failed miserably, while at other spots this same beer flew out the door. The difference? Sunset has a very young crowd, and ABV is almost irrelevant to them, and if it is relevant, they want more of it.

  5. Having the ABV listed on the beer list is something that I love, but normally I am just happy someone has a tap/bottle list. One place that has expanded the bottle selection significantly, (Harry's in Bloomsburg) do not have a bottle/tap list. You physically have to get out of your seat (when dining) and walk to the back of the place to check out the bottles. Small pet peeve of mine. If places like Sunset and Max's (baltimore) can have a list, you should too. Even though Max's (like Sunset) has only a few under 5%.


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