As craft beer becomes a more mainstream product, restaurant and bar owners need to prepare their staffs for a new customer demographic, the educated beer drinker. When wine exploded in the 1990s, there was a demand for educated wine professionals in the service industry. Restaurants began to build thoughtful wine lists of popular items that paired will with the food on offer. As craft beer continues to surge throughout the United States, restauranteurs are again faced with building their businesses based on their customers’ interests or being left behind as others grow.
Not every restaurant has to be a “beer bar”. That knee jerk reaction to the growth of craft beer has produced a few success stories, but has also led to an overabundance of 100+ tap pubs with no passion for the products they serve. I think this stage of growth is one where we can look to the wine industry for support and a clear path. Incorporating and integrating beer into the overall restaurant experience is a far more achievable and rewarding goal than out-competing one another for “most taps”.
This integration is where beer education comes into play. As restauranteurs become more knowledgeable about beer, they will make better decisions for their businesses. Choices will be made based on the food menu rather than on what the distributor had on special.
Once the beer is in house, knowledgeable staff will do a much better job describing flavors and making recommendations. This product knowledge will result in more sales and greater revenues for the restaurant. Proper presentation and draft system maintenance will enhance the appearance that the establishment is proud of its offerings.
BREW-ed was established to help restaurants with this transition into the world of craft beer. Through on-site staff training to consulting services for business owners regarding products, menus and equipment, BREW-ed is able to help prepare for the continued growth of craft beer.