Restaurant Beer Lists

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by otispdriftwood, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (570) New York Dec 9, 2011 Verified

    Whenever I'm looking for a place to go, whether just to drink or to eat and drink, I like to peruse the place's website for a beer list so I can base part of my decision on what is being poured. I'm aware that these lists are pretty much never 100% accurate but as long as they have a few selections I like, I'm good. Problem is, there are a few places that don't put their beer lists on their website or any other website for that matter and as a result, I usually don't consider them unless I'm daring.
    So - are there other BAs out there who do the same?

    Edit - the title should be: Restaurant, Beer Bar & Brewpub Beer Lists but I went for brevity.
     
  2. Labgrownmangoat

    Labgrownmangoat Aspirant (30) Jan 23, 2013

    If it's going to be a deciding factor, you can always call and ask what's on tap.
     
    dennis3951 likes this.
  3. I almost always do this. I will go so far as to not go to a bar/restaurant if they do not make at least their tap list available online. There is simply no excuse other than laziness/crappy management for not doing so, and if management doesn't care enough to advertise the beer they are serving, they likely do not care enough to properly manage the beer service in their establishment.

    I don't always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer establishments I know will provide proper beer service.
     
    SoggyCoasters and otispdriftwood like this.
  4. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (570) New York Dec 9, 2011 Verified

    And take the chance getting someone who says "oh we have everything" meaning Bud, Coors, Heineken, Amstel. Been there, done that. And if they do actually have craft beers, getting someone who doesn't know that [pick one] is a brewery that produces more than one beer.
     
  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    I'd much prefer they put their tap/bottle list online, but I understand why they don't as it is time consuming to keep it up to date. I'd settle for a once a day FB post about what's on or what's new.

    Now if it is a beer bar I'd say that is almost a requirement.
     
  6. Labgrownmangoat

    Labgrownmangoat Aspirant (30) Jan 23, 2013

    If you don't like what you hear, you still have more information than you did. Then you make your decision on a more informed basis.

    Another alternative at some places is to get on a mailing list that provides updated tap lists.
     
  7. denver10

    denver10 Poobah (1,020) Kentucky Nov 17, 2010

    When it comes to going to beer bars, 80% of the time a bar posting their beer lineup online is the deciding factor for where I go. Probably my favorite bar in town does not post their tap lists and as a result it is probably the beer bar I visit the least of the three beer bars I hit up.

    As for restaurants, I will sometimes go online to check out what they might have available but I won't ever make a restaurant decision based upon their beer list. Fortunately, in Colorado most places will always carry something respectable. Even if not, if I really want to drink I am fine with going with a bourbon or even glass of wine.
     
  8. Most respectable beer bars will use some sort of social media to keep their tap/bottle list updated. There are even apps (i.e. Taplister) that will show you what bars have available. The problem is that the restaurant or bar has to keep it updated or it doesnt do any good. A few places in Spokane do a great job of staying current and I have since been going to these bars because of it.
     
  9. LRTR

    LRTR Aficionado (165) Massachusetts Jun 21, 2005 Verified

    Also, apps like Untappd help make finding what's on tap easier -- tho not as easiest as picking up the phone ;)
     
  10. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (570) New York Dec 9, 2011 Verified

     
  11. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,430) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    I think with all of the technology and applications available today, it is not acceptable for a craft beer establishment to not have a beer list online or to not update the list at least once a week if they have something on the internet.
     
    Kerrie, kotayk and zach60614 like this.
  12. Yes, I do this. I appreciate the places that put their lists online. It is a factor for me in deciding where to go.
     
  13. Sirvis

    Sirvis Aficionado (230) Michigan Apr 29, 2012

    I manage for California Pizza Kitchen and we just rolled out all new beers with craft beer being a focus company wide. We are serving all 22oz bombers besides a couple and most locations offer a few worth mentioning like: Stone Arrogant Bastard, Rouge Brutal IPA, Chimay Grande Reserve. On top of that, we also get to choose 4 local drafts and 4 local bottles. I ordered Founders Centennial IPA, Bells Kalamazoo Stout on draft, Atwater Dirty Blonde and Bells Oberon in local bottles for my store for now and if they sell...I will add 4 more. I personally prefer high gravity beer but need to start off with some easy drinkers going into spring. Next winter I will definitely order some local Imperials!! I hope our web-site is updated soon so everyone knows we have some great beers to offer. I am also looking into getting tulip glasses and offering local draft beer flights ;)
     
  14. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poobah (1,035) New Jersey Jun 3, 2004 Verified

    That's pretty cool- I wish you guys success with the beer program. Now see what you can do about the pizza! (just kidding... sorta ;))
     
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  15. Onizilla

    Onizilla Savant (300) New York Apr 25, 2009 Verified

    Places that don't abuse/use beermenus to keep a semi-up to date draft list are beyond confusing to me as it's way too simple. If you're gonna be that lazy about your taps, I'm gonna skip out on the trouble of heading over to you.
     
  16. Local place here has pretty good food and really good beer and atmosphere. No list online and they will not tell you on the phone. I asked about why no online list and was pretty much told "we want you to come back and see what we have". I go maybe 10-12 times a year. I would go more if I knew the beer list. They get very good beer but I cant just swing by and hope something great is there.Guess I save money and they lose mine. Oh well......
     
  17. Sirvis

    Sirvis Aficionado (230) Michigan Apr 29, 2012

    Oh there are some great pizza changes in the works...artesian pizzas using local & seasonal ingredients.
     
    TongoRad likes this.
  18. zach60614

    zach60614 Savant (390) Illinois May 1, 2012 Verified

    Northern French pizza?
     
  19. nootch23

    nootch23 Savant (350) Massachusetts Mar 29, 2012

    Calling the establishment is the safest bet. If you care that much about what is being poured, take the time and call ahead. I find the majority of beer lists online are not updated.
     
  20. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,245) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    I do it often.
     
  21. I often do this to decide between 2 restaurants. It's not always the deciding factor but it certainly plays a role in my decision. Even if I'm not choosing between 2 places, I'll still look at a restaurant's website that I know I'm going to, just out of curiosity of what to expect.

    I do get annoyed when a website is so thorough about having complete menus for apps, entree, desserts, coctails, wine, but then nothing for beer. Or the beer is an afterthought at the bottom of the wine list.

    I know it takes effort for a restaurant to keep up with an online tap list, but plenty of places do it daily, showing me it can certainly be done at least every few days if they care enough.
     
  22. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Savant (305) California Jul 12, 2012

    i do this for the craft bars i go to. otherwise i go with the flow.

    p.s. now if only CPK had actual crafty pizza hahahah
     
  23. bleakies

    bleakies Savant (430) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2011

    It's funny how quickly one can acclimate to easily accessible online information. It wasn't all that long ago that I never thought to look for a joint's beer list online. Now, not only do I do it a lot, but a place I like that has a pretty steady turnover of the taps has failed to update their online list for over a week now and every time I check and see it's still unchanged, it makes me feel like a six-year-old on the verge of a tantrum.

    Then I take a few deep breaths and head to the fridge.
     
  24. Most restaurants are a bit rubbish for choice here, wine is still the undisputed king for them. Which is fine for me as I like wine a lot, but it would be nice if restaurants at least made a bit of an effort.

    My favourite indian restaurant has Cobra, Tennents lager, bud, peroni and another couple of rubbish ones and that's it.
     
  25. gatornation

    gatornation Poobah (1,165) Minnesota Apr 18, 2007 Verified

    twitter or call if the brew is more important then the food or atmosphere
     
  26. allouez86

    allouez86 Savant (350) Wisconsin Jan 24, 2009

    It's a deciding factor for me, and as the beer manager at a restaurant that feels they need a beer manager, I keep our beermenus page up to date and will update facebook if we have something really worth mentioning coming in.
     
  27. Trilogy31

    Trilogy31 Savant (310) California Jan 13, 2011

    Not sure how many people actually care to read beermenus.com but i keep my tap/bottle list up to date as well. Working for a bigger company its somewhat a hassle to get things updated on our website whereas beermenus is quick and easy as well as quick tweets and fb posts.
     
  28. It's a deciding factor for me for eating out and vacations. I'm thinking of taking my first cruise in the near future and have started reading up on the offerings there. I don't want to be stuck on a boat for a week that has a less than attractive list.
     
  29. Even if the list out of date, it usually gives you an idea of the breweries they tend to stock. So it definitely plays into my decisions regarding dinner, particularly if I'm in an unfamiliar town/city on business. And since I generally travel solo, I just sidle up to the bar check out the tap list before ordering food. Good tap list and a reasonably priced burger, I'm yours! Crappy list and/or overpriced food, I'm one and done and on to the next place.
     
  30. Do cruises stock craft beer? I just think of cruises as bastions for retirees drinking macro brand wine and BMC products, but maybe that's just the cruises my parents go on.
     
  31. I'm fine drinking a mixed drink/cocktail at a restaurant so a lack of beer selection doesnt bother me.
     
  32. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Champion (840) New Jersey Oct 27, 2010 Verified Subscriber

    I often check out beer menus.com. And to the original OP, it is important to me what beers a place has on tap. As a married guy with two young children, I don't go out nearly as often as I used to, so when we go out, it's usually for dinner (with or without the kids). So I want good beer to go with good food.
     
  33. Sirvis

    Sirvis Aficionado (230) Michigan Apr 29, 2012

    When I do go out to eat...I usually will eat at a local brewery since I can count on some great beers and most offer good food as well. I have a trip planned up north and already know where I will be eating...Shorts, North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin.
     
  34. NWer

    NWer Advocate (720) Washington Mar 10, 2009 Verified

    Always with one notable exception. Ponti Seafood Grill in Seattle. Food & service are so spectacular I forgive their deficient beer list and go with wine instead.
     
  35. Hopsiam14

    Hopsiam14 Advocate (505) Minnesota Jan 23, 2013 Verified

    I do this almost exclusively, unless I've heard amazing things about their food. So many places are placing more emphasis on their tap and bottle list now. I feel like the difference is noticeable even in the last 1-2 years.
     
  36. dap325

    dap325 Aficionado (190) New York Apr 2, 2009

    I don't understand why any business in 2013 wouldn't have an updated website. It drives me crazy when a place doesn't even have a food menu available online. Any place that calls themselves a beer bar, or that has a decent craft selection that doesn't keep up on social media is hurting themselves IMO. It really isn't that hard to keep a website updated. At the very least post your changes to Twitter/Facebook real time until you can update your .com
     
    NWer likes this.
  37. deuce9259

    deuce9259 Savant (320) Ohio Dec 28, 2011

    Agreed...if they put the date it was updated. My favorite spot doesn't do this. I've gone several times and found that the online source is outdated. Unreliable but its the best place around. Just saying if they at least put a date I would know what I'm getting myself into.
     
  38. deuce9259

    deuce9259 Savant (320) Ohio Dec 28, 2011

    No...at least not anything I would consider craft.
     
  39. beerme411

    beerme411 Savant (360) California Sep 28, 2010

    I do it, but usually it's not the deciding factor. At worst they will have SNPA, Anchor Steam, GB Marzen, and/or SABL in the bay area.
     
  40. CaptainNomihodai

    CaptainNomihodai Savant (345) Illinois Jan 24, 2011 Verified

    My favorite bar, Twisted Spoke, updates their beermenus.com tap list about once a year. Honestly, for most places that would piss me off, but there it's kinda fun to be surprised by what's on tap.