Best Boutique Beers to Stock in Your Restaurant
Boutique or craft beers are most often brewed in a craft brewery or microbrewery. These breweries usually produce smaller amounts of beer as compared to large-scale corporate breweries.
Usually businesses brewing boutique beers are independently owned. They are solely focused on quality, flavor, and brewing techniques.
While microbrewing rose in popularity in the late 20th century, artisanal brewing has existed in Europe for many centuries.
Because your patrons are demanding it, we’re going to look at the best boutique beers to stock in your restaurant.
How to Decide Which Beers to Carry
Now that you’re excited to stock some craft beer, you might be wondering how to decide which ones to bring in.
First, you want to look at your restaurant. What does your brand stand for? Who are your customers? Does a particular beer fit with your restaurant’s vision?
To bring in the right beers, you want to make sure they will pair well with your food menu. Think about the flavors of the different craft beers. Consider pairing a beer with each menu item.
Next, you want to ask yourself if your customers will like them. The best way to know? Try them out.
It’s also a good idea to offer a wide-range of light and dark beers to suit different palates as well.
How Many Beers Will You Offer?
Before you start looking for craft beers, decide how many you want to carry. There is a fine line between not enough and too many.
You don’t want to overwhelm your diners with too many choices. Yet, if you offer too few, they won’t have very many choices.
It may be a good idea for your restaurant to start with eight-12 different beer options in the beginning, depending on how large your menu is.
If you’re more of a bar than a restaurant, you can always do more than that.
Be Flexible with Your Beer Menu
You might also want to think about a flexible beer menu, especially if you are sourcing your boutique beers locally.
Many cities have multiple microbreweries, so you have a lot of choice. You’ll also have a wide-range of options at different times of the year.
For example, some breweries bring on beers with seasonal ingredients to follow the seasons. Your autumn brew might not be what your customers want to drink in the summer.
So, keep your beer menu flexible enough to highlight to entrees as they arrive.
Research Your Microbreweries
Whether you’re buying locally or nationally, you want to research the brewery and the beer.
Is their story one that can attract your diners? Is it one that encourages diners to order the beer?
You want to partner with breweries with a good story because that’s a terrific selling point. For example, a local brewery that uses ingredients from a local, sustainable farmer is a great selling point.
The better the story, the more you can charge for the beer.
Now let’s look at some favorite national boutique beers.
Strawgator from Abita Brewing Co. in Louisiana
For the customers who like fruity beers, this one is perfect. It is a golden lager made with malted barley and wheat that’s enhanced by fresh Louisiana strawberry juice. There are no artificial flavors, and the juice is added after brewing.
It’s a great spring or summer beer that might work with your appetizer or dessert menu. Strawgator has a pleasantly sweet taste and aroma and rich golden color.
CynicAle from Surly Brewing Co. in Minnesota
According to the brewer, this beer is brewed for the cynic in all of us. It’s a pale-gold hued ale that is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. This gives it notes of lemon citrus and black pepper spice.
Called a Farmhouse Ale, this is a mild beer that pleases your IPA lovers.
Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Co. in New Hampshire
A dark, smooth porter brew, Robust Porter is an old-fashioned brew that tastes great. You’ll taste flavors of chocolate and coffee.
See Robust Porter
Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery in North Carolina
This brewery has been brewing delicious beer in the Blue Ridge Mountains since 1997.
Event Horizon is an imperial stout aged in bourbon oak barrels. They release this beer in late fall or early winter each year. It’s a dark, rich brew.
See Event Horizon
White Sage Saison from Five Threads Brewing Company in California
Sage is considered a sacred herb by native peoples, and long ago it was used to purify the soul and body.
Five Threads added it to their summer saison beer to celebrate their local heritage and to bring “peace and protection” to your palate. It has an earthy spice and soft texture.
Chili Pepper Ale by Broken Compass Brewing Co. in Colorado
With so many craft breweries in Colorado, it’s hard to determine the best brew.
A local favorite is the Chili Pepper Ale. Even though it’s brewed with five different peppers, it’s quite easy to drink. It’s a great beer with Mexican food and even makes a great marinade.
Beer drinkers will love the spicy flavor that isn’t too hot.
See Chili Pepper Ale
As of 2020, more than 8,000 breweries provide the available beer in the United States. Whether your source your craft beer locally, or you widen the net, you can’t go wrong with this boutique beer.
Your staff should then be able to impart this knowledge to your diners, helping them find the perfect boutique beer for their meal.
Boutique beers are part of a cultural phenomenon. It’s one that makes people feel special and culturally-wise by drinking craft beer that was brewed in a small, independent brewery. (tweet this)
Your customers love the story behind the brew, and when you give it to them, it’s a win-win for your bottom line.
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