Craft Beer… It’s Arrived.

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shutterstock_149421062_webDo you ever look for a little bit more from each of your meals?  Do you want to try something new? Many people have already answered yes to these questions. There has been a shift in consumer behavior to fresh local grown ingredients, artisanal made products, the slow food moment and many more. Beer is now part of this list. Yes, beer. Beer is no longer reserved for the couch potatoes and beer bellies; it is a high-end compliment that offers complex flavors and a wide spectrum of choices. Consumers are going out of their way to find specific beer styles or try the new brew from their favorite brewery.   With this variety occurring in the marketplace, it is time to capitalize on this add-on that will not only gain higher profits, but will attract more customers to your establishment.

Whether you are beginning your endeavor in craft beer, or you are adding it to your current offering, there are two key things to remember.

Keep your options open:

Having a variety of styles ranging from smooth Lagers – to hop forward American ales – to a bready Belgian, will allow for a broad clientele base and will retain customer interest. This doesn’t mean you have to make drastic changes to your beer menu; something as small as keeping the same style of beer but from a different brewery would work.

Tip: Have a teaser list of beers that you will have on the menu soon for your customers to see

 Lining up seasonal beer is a great way to have a fresh selection throughout the year, which can include a crisp refreshing ale in the summer time, as a relief from the heat, a toasty fall lager or a heavier winter style beer that can had some holiday spice. These season-focused beers are top sellers within the industry.

Tip: Contacting your local brewery or asking your distributor what seasonal options they have is a great place to start

Food Pairing:

Beer is extremely versatile and can be paired and cooked with; just like wine. There are numerous craft beer and food pairing guides available on the web to help with this. When selecting the style of beer you want to offer at your establishment think of the food you offer. These flavors should enhance one another.

Tip: Have a list of what beers will pair well with different items on your menu

Compared to most wine, beer can be dressed up or dressed down. So whether you are a sports bar with appetizers or a white table cloth fine dining establishment, craft beer can now be a significant part of your menu and become a draw for gaining new customers.