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Building Your Beer Program According to Mirella Amato

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I’m seeing way too many restaurants with carefully curated menus and wine lists…but their beer offerings are an afterthought. There is such an incredible selection of beers out there, it’s a missed opportunity if you’re not curating a list of carefully selected beers to reflect your establishment’s theme.

unspecified-5There are a lot of people today who are very into beer. Having a good beer list will invite a new demographic, it will make larger parties of people feel welcome. Some will be interested in wine and some in beer, and people look for establishments that appeal to both.

Your beer selection doesn’t have to be big, the key is diversity. If you have three beers, make sure they cover a range of palates and contexts. Do you want to offer three craft beers or three beers from a chosen country? Your selection can be inspired by food. If your beer selection is a mix-and-match, always have one highly quaffable lager, then include an IPA, and stick to your price range.

Establishments shouldn’t worry about people replacing wine with beer. If any- thing, offering a curated beer selection will be supplemental. People may order beer while considering the menu, or they might stop by for a pint and see your menu.Beer opens your operation up to a much larger demographic.

Educate your customers! Make sure there is some kind of beer description on the menu! Describe the beer and pairing recommendations. Describe the flavours. Ensure that your staff is knowledgeable and able to explain the beer. Or hire a certified cicerone to help design your menu. Many establishments in the US have in-house cicerones, and Canada is starting to follow suit.

Read the full article, A Master Sommelier and a Master Cicerone walked into a bar… from the first edition of MENU magazine here.