Any restaurant that boasts an extensive craft beer menu is making a statement – and a positive one at that. They are putting themselves out there as a champion of choice as well as strongly suggesting that they are in tune with modern trends – and how beer lovers are turning their back on traditional labels.
Don’t be in any doubt about it: this is the age of the craft beer.
Those who drink it make a mental note of the establishments that sell it. With high-end restaurants still slow to offer extensive beer lists, the ones that do are well placed to steal a march on their competitors.
Craft beers are aimed at people with particular tastes
Let’s be honest, craft beer is hardly the tipple of the classic binge drinker. Whether it’s a pale ale or perhaps even a seasonal beer, craft beer has cultivated an image whereby those who consume it are that bit more appreciative of the finer options on the drinks menu.
Should high-end restaurants be stocking craft beers? Well, that question should probably be rephrased to: can they afford not to stock craft beers?
In an era when variety is so great that a starter menu often runs onto a second page, restaurants whose beer “menu” consists of one lager, one ale and one cider need to drastically review their business model.
Enthusiasts of craft beer appreciate the variety it brings to their palate. The emergence of Indian pale ale has given a whole new meaning to a beverage being “hoppy”.
The hipster theory is way off the mark
There is a perception out there – and it’s an ignorant one – that craft beer is aimed solely at hipsters². If that was truly the case, it’s doubtful that there would be enough hipsters around to keep the small breweries going.
The popularity of craft beer has seen its greatest surge among educated men in their thirties with reasonable amounts of disposable income¹. They are willing to pay more for the beers that stand out from the rest. If that doesn’t prompt a high-end restaurant owner to sort their beer menu out, nothing will.
In 2017, people’s tastes have become more discerning than ever. The current generation are more adventurous with food than their parents’ era. The same now goes for wine, while craft beer wasn’t even a concept in previous generations.
Going out for a meal is not just a culinary experience. Sure, the food is the focal point of the evening, but a good selection of beers is now hugely important.
Giving customers a reason to stay longer
Beer lovers will be in less of a rush to get out of the restaurant if the list runs the length of a page. Be those friends, couples or families with grown up children; craft beer is a sociable drink made to sample and share.
Transforming a restaurant from a small business into something more substantial can often hinge on good management and good decision-making.
Adding a number of craft beers to the menu isn’t down to management, nor does it hinge on decision-making. It’s simply a no-brainer.
¹ Entrepreneur, Craft Brewers: This is what your customers want.
² Homebrew Academy, When Did Craft Beer Become a Hipster Beverage?