how much has beer affected your restaurant habits?

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by Sam_Frank, Jan 6, 2013.

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  1. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2012 California

    my girlfriend and i are both into food, as i'm sure a lot of you are. we are lucky to have an extremely wide variety of restaurants of all varieties, and enjoy eating out a lot. in recent years though, i think my culinary scope has narrowed. now i pretty much only want to go some place where i can also have a good beer. which is also sort of becoming a point of contention between gf and i (though she is understanding).

    anyone have this problem?

    i feel like if i'm already going out, and going to order a beer, it's a shame to go somewhere where i'll i'm going to be able to get is a corona (mexican food is suffering actually), or a terrible tsing tao (can't stand that shit). i actually kind of like Japanese beer so that hasn't been a problem.

    i'd be stoked if more places would up their game and at least offer a Sierra Pale Ale or something.

    i know, life is hard
  2. Lipsntoes

    Lipsntoes Initiate (0) Jul 15, 2012 Ohio

    Funny you should post as a friend and I were just discussing this topic. There are very few establishments in my area offer decent beers. I don't go out very often, but did last Sat, and the best I found was very old SN Torpedo in bottle. Tap was all BMC. I offered some suggestions to the tender, we'll see next time.
    WassailWilly likes this.
  3. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (1,808) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I think I am going to be in the minority here. The beer selection rarely, if ever I'mpacts my restaurant selection.

    In most cases, I am going to have wine with dinner not beer. (Will that get me kicked off here?)
    The exceptions, where I would drink beer with dinner, Mexican food, burgers and sometimes Sushi.
    The instance where beer selection is a factor is If we are going to go for "pub food" then beer selection becomes a factor and I will go to the place by me with the better beer.
    JG-90 and stayclean like this.
  4. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (479) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    Not at all.
  5. NiceTaps

    NiceTaps Savant (979) Nov 21, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    The context is pretty hard to follow, ie, Tsing tao is a Chinese Brew. But i get the drift. I prefer BYOB restaurants, and luckily, there are many good ones in my neck of the woods. There are Mexican, Italian (many), steak houses, and even a French leaning, BYOB options for me. I can always bring good beer with me to these places so it's not really a problem at all.
    Also, there are two good crafter pubs nearby that have decent food. And if I want to drive a bit it gets better!
  6. scott10010

    scott10010 Initiate (48) Nov 21, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Not nearly as much as having kids has. We order in a lot more which means I have a great beer selection whatever I'm eating.

    I know places all over the city that serve chicken fingers and have a respectable draft selection.
  7. jrnyc

    jrnyc Savant (945) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Totally impacts mine. If I am going to have a nice meal I am going to make sure I get a nice beer to go with it. Easier said than done, but when I decide on restaurants those with craft beer move to the top of the list. Restaurants who serve fine food need to also serve fine beer, not BMC crap.

    I found a nice restaurant locally that has excellent food, nice atmosphere and craft beer. I will pick that place every time over a restaurant without craft beer.
    Pecan, beerloserLI and RobertColianni like this.
  8. devlishdamsel

    devlishdamsel Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 Washington

    They should create a beer corking policy! Seriously, because a lot of great resteraunts have nasty beer. I find myself usually switching to wine in these situations. it would be nice to be able to bring in your own quality beer though.
  9. AndyAvalanche

    AndyAvalanche Savant (994) Jun 16, 2008 Massachusetts

    I think it effects my wife more than me. When she's trying to find a place to eat she'll often consider the beer selection for me. A lot of time's we'll either cook at home or do takeout then we can have whatever we wish in the comfort of our own home which is also generally less expensive. I try to be fair though and bite the bullet and compromise. Even if I can find a decent place that has Sams or Sierra, it's nice to go out to eat every once in a while too.
  10. MADhombrewer

    MADhombrewer Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2008 Oregon

    Even in Potland it is difficult to find a place that has BOTH good food AND good beer. My wife is a bigger foodie than I, but not as big of a beer fan as I am. We make due though. No good beer= wine or water for me.
    danamal85 likes this.
  11. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,230) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    I am fortunate enough to living in a state where just about any worthwhile restaurant will have something enjoyable to drink too.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  12. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2012 California

    maybe i wasn't clear, but yeah, i know Tsing Tao is Chinese beer. sadly, that's all they have at our favorite Chinese restaurants (that or Bud) so I find myself wanting to go there less and less

    as for Mexican I'm a huge Mexican food fan. I live in Los Angeles so we have plenty of amazing places. but it's harder to get fired up to drink Corona or Margaritas than it used to be for me
  13. Jayeblue24

    Jayeblue24 Initiate (0) Apr 11, 2012 Idaho

    It does impact where I eat. But....that being said usually the places with a good beer selection will most likely have great food
  14. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Meyvn (1,048) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I don't know why, but in my area a lot of Asian restaurants have 3 beers on tap: an Asian selection, Bud Light, and Shock Top :*(
  15. NiceTaps

    NiceTaps Savant (979) Nov 21, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I knew what you meant after a bit of thought...Thanks!:slight_smile:
    Good point about the Mexican joints, by the way. They tend to have great food, good menus and vibe, then they shortchange the clientele with their limited beer menu. Sure, they really must carry Corona, XX, Modelo, etc. Adding some IPAs to compliment those spicy dishes is a no-brainer...for us anyway!
  16. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Zealot (524) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Philly restaurants never sleep on a quality beer selection. This is why Asheville is our only competition as "Beer Mecca." I think the fact that we're spoiled with great beer every damn day allows us to either not mind going to a restaurant without a respectable beer list or not even have to worry about finding one with whatever our restaurant of choice may be.
    dbfp210 likes this.
  17. stayclean

    stayclean Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Wisconsin

    Most of the places the wife & I eat at generally have really good beer selections, but I don't really drink while eating. Maybe I'll order a beer if the wait is going to be long, but that's about it (once in a blue moon MAYBE I'll order a post-dinner beer if I am not absolutely stuffed). Also, if this affected where I ate, I would be missing out on the places with the best fish fry in the city, and that would just make me sad.
  18. winbassett

    winbassett Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2010 North Carolina

    In my home city, I pick the restaurants solely on beer selection. If I'm traveling, it's about 50/50 between "beer" spots to eat and "food" spots.
    bryanole27 likes this.
  19. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,192) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Supporter Subscriber

    Food quality is the primary driver for me. Consider it a bonus if there is decent beer too, but I usually don't drink when we go out to eat unless they ave something I really want to try.
    musicman7070 and hardy008 like this.
  20. CaptCleveland

    CaptCleveland Champion (804) Jun 18, 2003 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Cleveland restaurants understand that patrons will avoid establishments with sub par beer offerings. You can at least find GLBC regular (Dortmunder) and seasonal, but also Headhunter in bottles as well as non-locals like Stone and DFH. We tried a new Creole restaurant last night and they had GLBC Dort and Christmas Ale as well as LEM in bottles.
  21. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2012 California

    don't drink while go out to eat...

    does not compute
    2beerdogs likes this.
  22. BeastLU

    BeastLU Disciple (326) Dec 20, 2012 Virginia

    My Woman and I are wine snobs as wells as beer snobs. I have learned not to expect great beer from great restaurants. Although sometimes there is a great surprise.
  23. greyghost86

    greyghost86 Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2012 Delaware

    I like to try and find a place with decent beer selection first, but locally there isn't a whole lot and what there is tends to be overcrowded (a good reason for more places) and I'm not much for waiting. Tend to get a better selection at home!!!!
  24. Jonada

    Jonada Champion (840) May 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    The beer selection doesn't really effect my choice in restaurants all that much. If it's a toss up between a couple different places, the beer list will usually serve as a tie breaker, but when I'm choosing a restaurant, it's more about the food than the drink.

    One thing I have noticed is that if I'm having a meal at a more casual place, with a limited selection (insert some national chain restaurant here), I'm a lot less likely to order a beer at all, knowing that I can go and drink something much better when I get home.
  25. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    Not only do I enjoy good beer if I eat out I abhor going to my local place and having more open taps than full ones where good beer can be sold ! I have politely informed the owner of this on a few different occasions.. So far still hit or miss... Hard to sell beer you dont have......
  26. taez555

    taez555 Poo-Bah (1,588) Dec 9, 2002 Massachusetts

    I find the threads about people complaining about restaurants not serving good beer to be funny, since I only go to brewpubs or good beer bars to eat.

    Beerfly/Places, or whatever it's called now, is the first place I check when traveling to a new location.
  27. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Meyvn (1,417) Feb 16, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I love cooking, so not all that much. I usually dont go out for food anymore. When I do, I go to Bull City Burger and Brewery and Top of the Hill Brewery.
  28. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (1,883) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I agree with you on the limited offerings for most Mexican places, but I can tolerate a Corona with the old lime/salt routine. I know, I know, beer purists are shaking their heads, but for Mexican it works.

    But as to OP's original question: Yes, beer selection is a factor for us about 25% of the time. Luckily we have some good offerings in our area. I don't always have to imbibe with my meals.:wink:
  29. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2012 California

    I guess where it becomes a problem is when you're talking about more specific, international cuisines. we have plenty of good restaurants and brewpubs with good beer, but you'll be hard pressed to find Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Indian etc.. with a good selection. most of the really good International places to eat are hole in the walls, owned by people who barely speak English. they're not as likely to be hip to craft beer as trendy "fusion" places or whatever

    byob would be fantastic. I love Thai food, just don't always want to have a Tiger
  30. teamwiggum

    teamwiggum Champion (865) Nov 30, 2008 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I usually don't have more than 1 beer while out at dinner so I don't give it any thought. As long as the food is good I can handle a PBR or a Corona if necessary.
    And besides, a good beer selection doesn't make having a good beer a lock. Ordered a Ranger IPA the other night and it wasn't anywhere near fresh.
  31. jmgrub

    jmgrub Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 California

    Not a whole lot. I know not many will agree with this, but I think food and beer served together diminish one another. I don't need beer when I'm eating, and I don't need anything but crackers or chips when I'm drinking beer.
  32. GrandpaGeorg

    GrandpaGeorg Champion (854) Oct 9, 2004 Maryland

    I'd always choose a place with better beer over better food, but I don't always get to decide. Fortunately, some of our more favorite places are finally "getting it" in terms of an expanded tap list and better bottle selection. Let's hope it's a trend that continues.
  33. JuniperJesus

    JuniperJesus Aspirant (270) Feb 26, 2011 Illinois

    I usually don't notice the beers I drink at the restaurants I go to because I'm usually focused on the half-naked women serving me.
    WassailWilly likes this.
  34. PatriotsRule

    PatriotsRule Aspirant (257) Sep 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    I don't get beer at a restaurant unless they serve dank brews.
  35. NickMunford

    NickMunford Savant (978) Oct 2, 2006 Wyoming

    A good beer selection does influence where my wife and I decide to go out to eat. At the moment, we're fortunate enough to live in a city with several good beer conscious restaurants.
  36. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,431) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I go to restaurants when I'm feeling too ltired, lazy, or busy to cook—or when the restaurant serves a cuisine I couldn't easily and competently replicate at home. If they have a good beer selection, all the better. But this factor doesn't have any impact on where I choose to eat out.

    I'm far more swayed by whether the restaurant has items on the menu that my 6-year-old is likely to enjoy.

    If I want a great beer, I'll eat at home. There's always something delicious awaiting me, just a few steps away.
  37. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    I feel like today, the answer is not all that much. 3-5 years ago things were very different. Nowadays you can almost bank on any restaurant that serves decent dinner food to carry at least a few craft taps. I've seen very few exceptions to that in the last year, aside from authentic ethnic locations and chain restuarants. If you go to a bistro/burger/Americana style restaurant that doesn't have good beer nowadays, you probably don't want to eat their food either.

    A few years ago, yeah, it was a much bigger impact though. I can imagine that other areas of the country are still like Boston was 5 years ago.
  38. KYGunner

    KYGunner Initiate (0) Sep 16, 2012 Kentucky

    Try living in Dry county where beer isn't sold at all. I would drive over an hour to Huntington WV just for a restaurant that had beer. Didn't care what type!
  39. BigCheese

    BigCheese Defender (689) Jul 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    Its expensive. Does that compute?
    LeRose likes this.
  40. njhopspop

    njhopspop Initiate (0) Oct 17, 2010 New Jersey

    I tend to roll with the situation. It's not the end of the world if I go out to dinner and can't have a good craft beer. Like someone else said, my kids play more of a role in restaurant selection than the beer menu. Often times we go to places that don't even serve alcohol. But we do make our fair share of trips to Uno's too. :sunglasses:
    BeerKangaroo likes this.
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