Usually for my FSR column, there’s an actual column and it’s accompanied by 8 beer reviews. This issue, they only had room for the reviews.C’est la vie. In December of 2017, I suggested these to warm up with.
In this op-ed for FSR (Full Service Restaurant), I tackle the topic of overly long draft lists. From 31 flavors of ice cream to–more to my point–99 bottles of beer on the wall, consumers want what they want—so, why would any bar manager or restaurateur limit their patrons’ options? And yet, not to throw the good folks at places such as the Yard House under the bus, but the Irvine, California–originated chain with some 60 locations offers between 130 and 250 beers on its tap lists. Typically, no fewer than 30 of them are IPAs. And while bright, fruity West Coast IPAs are miles apart from chewy, richer imperial IPAs, I think the customer becomes bombarded by options and stands a good chance of not being able to zero in on the beer that best suits the meal. Put in idiomatic terms: Sometimes less is more.
Most Asian-American restaurants serve the beer from the cuisine’s country of origin: Typically 33 Beer at a Vietnamese restaurant, Tsingtao when eating Chinese, Sapparo to go with Japanese, and Singha for Thai food.
That’s essentially saying that every hamburger served overseas should only be washed down with Budweiser. More and more operators are awakening to the realization that they can do more, both in terms of their beer menu and their customers.
So I took a look at what some of the best Asian restaurants with stellar beer programs had to say about that.
As a testament to how great of a job my friend and colleague Ken Weaver did as the Beer Editor of FSR (a trade magazine for the, wait for it, Full Service Restaurant… and yes there is a QSR magazine), it took two of us to replace him when he left. That means every other month Jeff Cioletti pens a column about beer in FSR’s “Liquid Intelligence” department along with 8 beer reviews, and then we switch off. For my first column in the June 2016 issue, inspired by that thing we get inversely proportionally to beer (the sun. I’m talking about sunshine.), I tackled the heady subject of beer menus at pubs with killer patios/beer gardens.