"Craft beer" at Red Robin?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Biff_Tannen, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Biff_Tannen

    Biff_Tannen Disciple (319) Dec 8, 2013 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    What is up with this place? Their burgers are pretty good, but why do they advertise themselves as a craft beer joint? They have Lagunitas IPA and Boulevard Wheat and a bunch of AB/Coors/Miller stuff. It's a joke. I don't understand, if you're going to have 33 tap handles, why you can't commit to having them be worth a damn. They'd get a lot more business if they did.
  2. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,271) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Welcome back Biff!!! Where have you been?
  3. Biff_Tannen

    Biff_Tannen Disciple (319) Dec 8, 2013 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    I have been extremely busy. Had to disconnect from BA for awhile due to other obligations but now I am back, hopefully for good.
  4. BeanBump

    BeanBump Aspirant (253) Dec 14, 2016 California

    Forget their beer. I have a gripe that goes back decades with this place. They proudly advertise bottomless steak fries but every time Ive gone, they never offer to replenish my plate full of salty, greasy, starchy goodness. They drop the burgers off then ghost you until youre done and then they repel down from the ceiling to drop the check off and disappear right back up into the heavens.
  5. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (899) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    What do you mean, no craft beer?

    One of the restaurants near me has...
    • Blue Moon Belgian White
    • Widmer Brothers Omission
    • Lagunitas IPA
    Aren't those craft? :wink:

    Oh, they also have Sam Adams! There you go... THAT's craft!
  6. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (784) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I might go to a Red Robin if I was stuck on some Interstate somewhere and was in a hurry. Or maybe to watch the check delivering acrobatic waitstaff. Anyway, it's a big time chain, and I have so many great local options for burgers that I rarely frequent. Here, Hops Burger Bar has great food, nicely managed local, regional, national, and international beers, and I only go once in a blue moon.
    OldManMetal, SFNC, JimKal and 8 others like this.
  7. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,149) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium Member

    It seems obvious to me that they have no one in a national decision-making position who knows anything about craft beer. However, they must have a shrewd marketing person.
  8. teromous

    teromous Poo-Bah (1,568) Mar 21, 2010 Virginia

    Their tap lineup looks like the average chain joint (Applebees, TGIF, etc):

    Cold Beers
    Blue Moon® Belgian White
    The hint of orange in this Belgian-style wheat ale is a perfect match for our tropical Banzai Burger®
    Stella Artois®
    This sophisticated Belgian pilsner puts the final touch on our most excellent Black & Bleu Burger
    Bud Light®
    A refreshing favorite that tastes great with our Bacon Cheeseburger
    Corona Extra®
    Its quintessential twist of lime goes great with our Guacamole Bacon Burger
    Michelob Ultra®
    A low-calorie lager that gives center stage to the heat of our famous Burnin' Love Burger®
    Not Your Father's® Root Beer
    This award-winning root beer has 5.9% ABV and offers a silky and smooth finish that pairs well with our Southern Charm Burger®
    Angry Orchard® Hard Cider
    A refreshing cider with a fresh, full body.
    Samuel Adams Seasonal
    Ask your server for our current selection.
    Samuel Adams Boston Lager®
    Full of flavor, yet balanced and complex, just like our A.1.® Peppercorn Burger
    Coors Light®
    Pure, cold refreshment perfect for putting out the flames of the Fiery Ghost® Tavern Double Burger
    This famously rich and creamy stout from the Emerald Isle tastes even better with our Bleu Ribbon Burger
    A crisp, pale lager perfect for washing down our Prime Chophouse Burger
    Miller Lite®
    A light but flavorful beer that pairs perfectly with our Smoke & Pepper™ Burger
    Omission® Pale Ale
    A delicious, award-winning beer with a smooth finish
    Lagunitas IPA®
    A well-rounded, drinkable IPA with a bit of Caramel Malt barley to mellow out the hops. Try it with the Buzz Mac 'N' Cheese Tavern Double burger
  9. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Poo-Bah (1,792) Aug 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Looks like it's a tap list not worth a visit. Besides, I've never been there but I have heard that their burgers are good.
    Harrison8 likes this.
  10. Biff_Tannen

    Biff_Tannen Disciple (319) Dec 8, 2013 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    Totally 100% accurate. I argued with the manager until he let me box up all of my family’s seconds because they took so damn long to bring them out
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  11. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Initiate (190) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Last time I ordered out from there I had a hair in my burger.
  12. rronin

    rronin Initiate (193) Jul 4, 2005 Washington

    RR started here in the Northwest so I feel I should defend them. Naww, they're big kids and can defend themselves. The food is great, never had a bad meal there. Bean Bump is right about the "Bottomless" steak fries, at least in some locations. My local is good about replenishing the "salty, greasy, starchy goodness" although my doctor would be appalled by how much I consume. What is appalling is their beer selection, but they are certainly not alone in that respect. It seems like all the chain restaurants have the same individual deciding on what beer to have on offer, and they don't know shit about craft. When I go there I drink a milkshake.
  13. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,311) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    You lost me at "their burgers are pretty good" ... their burgers are as good as their "craft beer" draft list.
  14. Boverhof3

    Boverhof3 Aspirant (278) Dec 25, 2006 Michigan

    I've had the EXACT same experiences, I have no idea what lucky bastards get bottomless fries. It's surely not me and my wife. I only drink soda with burgers, so I have no idea what the beer list looks like.
    SFACRKnight and mnrider like this.
  15. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,521) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Hops Burgers are seriously good.
    OldManMetal, SFNC and FBarber like this.
  16. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,703) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    It would probably get the same amount of patronage from me as Applebees, Red Lobster and Texas Roadhouse, if it were in town. I do not respect establishments that don't consider craft beer from the state they're in as options...
  17. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,040) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I've never been to one, but the one in my town carries beers from several of the breweries here.
    sharpski and Bitterbill like this.
  18. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (520) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    If I walked into a national burger chain and had a choice of Lagunitas IPA and the more corporate/established local craft breweries alongside Sam and typical macro stuff, I’d be pretty excited.

    I mean, their burgers are a step up from McDs but not on par with quality local places. Why would the beer be any different?
    Brent212, meefmoff, TheOneTC and 2 others like this.
  19. honkey

    honkey Disciple (300) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    A lot goes into getting beer on tap at big chains like that. First, the brewery has to want it to happen. At my current brewery, we wouldn't let Red Robin buy our beer because they won't serve it well and it won't do anything to advance our brand. If we did want it to happen, most chains will require a corporate approval which could be based on sales volume ratings for the area and on price point. Corporate approval can be difficult and the ratings can be nearly impossible. Some distributors will sell a brewery's beer under a different brewery's SKU in order to get beer sold (I've seen this in chain grocery stores before where small breweries get sold in under regional breweries SKU's) which then helps the larger brewery's ratings and doesn't do anything for the smaller brewery.

    The only chain we sell to at my current brewery is one specific Chili's account that does a great job promoting us and they focus on server education. If our prices were in line with other small craft breweries, we likely would be at a price point too high for them to be allowed to buy our kegs.
  20. KBS

    KBS Disciple (352) Apr 25, 2014 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    BW3 does a pretty good job with the local craft selection, at least around here.

    Really like RR burgers (the royal with the egg on it). I always let the waitress know up front to keep the fry baskets full. Usually works, If not, I walk over and ask them.
  21. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,863) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I took my nephew to Red Robin for lunch (his choice) while I was back in Columbus a few weeks ago. No issues whatsoever. Good selection of mostly national craft beers alongside the typical macro swill, and we had fries out the yin yang.
    I wouldn't go there if I was in a hurry, for sure.
  22. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (272) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Reeddd Raahhbin...meh.

    We used to go there fairly often with the kids. They got balloons and whatnot. After one visit, two of our cherubs proclaimed the burgers were OK at best. We don't go anymore.
  23. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,253) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    LOL to them that beer list is "Craft" and to most of their customers they think it rocks.
    Big_V and lester619 like this.
  24. mnrider

    mnrider Crusader (724) May 26, 2009 Connecticut

    The Red Robin near me definitely has a sad selection of beer. I don’t mind though, craft beer doesn’t usually go well with burgers anyway.
  25. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,286) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    My local Red Robin has marginally better options. We always have one or two Ithaca beers and a few local microbreweries like Horseheads or Upstate. As long as there's Flower Power I'm happy. One time they even had Allagash White on tap, which made me ecstatic, as that is hands down my favorite witbier. That's better than the local Buffalo Wild Wings. However, all of the chain restaurants around here have a pretty terrible beer selection overall. I usually either order Sam Adams, or just go with Coke. :unamused:
    dcotom likes this.
  26. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,140) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    This goes back to acquisitions in my mind. Most national chains seem to have a tap list that includes the macro offerings from a large conglomerate and the rest are the "crafty" brands from the same corporation. It's the easy move for the national beer buyers for red robin or chilis or applebees. But more to the point, why would I waste money on a half assed frozen burger slopped together by someone who doesn't care when I can go to a locally owned burger joint like www.craverealburgers.com for the same price?
    Bitterbill and champ103 like this.
  27. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,924) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    Our Dead Robin actually does have some regional craft, the burgers are pretty good, and while the fries get refilled after a fashion, they don't seem as good as at other Dead Robins. We don't go much because it's at the mall, so usually a hassle.

    Like other nationwide restaurants, the craft selection seems to depend on management. If the manager cares about and understands craft, they'll get some good stuff if allowed by corporate. But most just leave it to their distributor, who shockingly recommends ABInBev macro and ex-craft.
    HorseheadsHophead and dcotom like this.
  28. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (299) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    I know someone who works at one. They said once their local kegs were kicked, they'd be going back to national branding. Seems like they want to streamline their whole operation.

    Sad stuff.
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  29. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,521) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Chain places for the most part are trying to play both sides I suppose. They're a burger place first and foremost that's their business, 95% of their customers are probably fine with AALs if they want beer, but are ok ordering a Coke or Ice Tea. So they offer a few better beer offerings to a very small percent of those customers that want it, and why is anyone surprised with this? Theyre a burger joint not a beer bar, but if they give you a few better selections why complain? Go to a beer bar that serves burgers, they're everywhere.
  30. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Aspirant (282) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Eat at places with better beer lists that serve food that you can describe with something better than "pretty good". Problem solved. RR stinks.
  31. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (342) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    There was a similar thread re: Applebees beer list that I thought was surely trolling, even when I lived in the country in SC there were local, non-chain options that I could patronize... I feel sorry for folks who really have no choice (or make the choice) to only eat at chains. Yucky.
  32. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,414) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I always get top quality craft beer in a variety of styles, delicious burgers, and plenty of very tasty fries with 5 Guys. I take out and eat at home.
  33. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,152) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I marvel at some of the shit some of you guys get worked up about. I mean, seriously, how fucking detailed do you think a place lile Red Robin is going to be with their "craft beer" list? If you were expecting anything beyond a Blue Moon or a Sam Adams seasonal, shame on you. Gimme a friggin break and dine someplace with a "reputable" craft draft list (there ought to be a place like this where you live) and stop complaining about shit.
    Big_V, McMatt7, ShanePB and 13 others like this.
  34. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,311) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    THIS is how you do it. I love Five Guys!
    Harrison8 and cavedave like this.
  35. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,015) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    There are too many independent joints with great burgers around me to settle for a chain. Does Red Robin offer bacon jam as a topping? No? See ya. :wink:
  36. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,264) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Premium Member

    Thank you - saved me a lot of typing...
    VABA, prg, Brent212 and 5 others like this.
  37. jimmyfishkin

    jimmyfishkin Aspirant (229) Nov 17, 2008 Wisconsin

    ^ This. I've never been asked if we want more, and have had to ask for our kids to get more fires if they want them. As far as craft, I can at least get a New Glarus beer here locally, but in all honesty, I don't go to Red Robin aiming to get a high quality beer menu.
  38. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Zealot (555) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    My kids drag me to this place on occasion. The burgers are so-so & they have one local IPA on draft, the rest is junk. The service is always scattershot/disorganized and I'll echo the complaints that the fries hardly ever get refilled.

    If it were up to me I'd go to maybe 20 other independent places around me with better beer and better burgers.
  39. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,311) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Not sure how much you've travelled around the country, but there are *lots* of places around the US that do not have a place like this and the closest thing to a "reputable craft draft list" is a Red Robin type chain.
    beertunes, drtth and LeRose like this.
  40. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,414) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Of course I never take out at Burger Loft, where they grind their own meat for the burgers and cut their own potatoes for the fries.
    Decent list, ayy?

    District 96 Political Juice 2.0
    Double IPA · 8.5% · New City, NY
    Equilibrium MC2
    Double IPA · 8.0% · Middletown, NY
    Founders Imperial Stout 2016
    Imperial Stout · 10.5% · Grand Rapids, MI
    Hillfarmstead Edward
    American Pale Ale · 5.2% · Greensboro Bend, VT
    Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #6
    Double IPA · 8.0% · Greensboro Bend, VT
    District 96 Amber Status
    Amber Ale · 5.7% · New City, NY
    District 96 Bright Line
    Helles Lager · 4.7% · New City, NY
    District 96 Hoppy-ng Fences
    IPA · 6.5% · New City, NY
    District 96 Misunderestimated IPA
    IPA · 6.5% · New City, NY
    District 96 Mother Of All Bombs
    Double IPA · 8.0% · New City, NY
    District 96 No Recollection
    American Pale Ale · 5.2% · New City, NY
    District 96 Saaz Matters
    American Pale Ale · 5.4% · New City, NY
    District 96 Silent Majority
    American Pale Ale · 5.4% · New City, NY
    District 96 Yuuuuge
    IPA · 6.4% · New City, NY