We've all been there, trying to organize a few drinks with some mates can be a task & a half on some days, but then add finding a spot that everyone will agree on.
Whether you're an avid beer sommelier or just someone fed up with the run of the mill 'crap on tap', I'm sure you've at some point or another been in in this scenario. Trying to plan a trip to the pub with a group of people can sometimes lead to one having to make a compromise when wanting a nice beer whilst in good company.
For those craft beer drinkers that can be quite content with a decent pint of Guinness or half decent Smithwicks, like myself, it's not too much of an issue when its a seldom scenario. However when the seldom scenario starts to occur more often or you just really can't drink anything else, what can you do try overcome this dilemma? Well here you'll a few options that can be considered.
CRAFT BEER NIGHT!
Might seem like an obvious idea, but it will still require some creative planning. I had one of these with work recently and it went down very well, a lot of folks that wouldn't normally bother trying new beers really got into this gave a few different beers a go to see what was out there.
Give this a go, plan this craft beer night a bit in advance, get the group of mates that say they don't like craft beer and tell them to forget everything they think they know about it, do this one Craft Beer night and tell them you'll find them a beer that they will like. Unless your mates don't actually like any beer, you're bound to find at least one if not two that they'll open their mind to (and I'm sure there's a decent Cider / Wine or Whiskey in most places for the non beer drinker ). You as the organiser will need to know your stuff on beer styles etc, as you'll be the one everyone will be looking to at the bar! A lot of Craft beer pubs will give out samples to try before you buy anyway.
The benefit to this then would be that the next time you're looking to go for some impromptu pints, least your mates won't be as quick to turn down the nearest craft beer spot you have in mind.
If the craft beer night option isn't a runner, hopefully the next suggestion will be a decent compromise.
For the bar managers reading this, whether you already have the range of craft beers in the corner or are even just thinking about it, a craft beer night would be a great event to gauge your punters interests. Setup some free samples to go around on a Thursday evening or even talk to some craft beer distributors to see if they can offer anything to get your range of beers off the shelf!
The "Hybrid" Bar
A fantastic invention really, some genius decided to open a pub, bar or restaurant and then offer both macro branded beers and a grand range of locally brewed & international craft beers all under one roof! I mean don't get me wrong now, I'd much rather all craft beer, but in this scenario these places are absolute life-savers!
Depending on the venue, the range of craft beer taps available could be a one or two taps and some bottles behind the bar to a full section of the bar dedicated to craft beers. In some places even it's come about that there are mostly craft beers on tap and then only a handful of taps for the bigger breweries. Some places worthy of a mention in the Dublin area where I'm based include the Bull & Castle, the Bleeding Horse, the Bankers, the Tap House and the Attic bar to name but a few. I could list more but don't worry I'll be putting together a full list with reviews soon!
Some places I been to recently have had a selection of great beers on then a few months later they're all gone. It might be the down side to the hybrid bar, if there's no demand then there's no point in a supply... Or might there be another apparent reason for this? Something I'll talk about again..
Well it would seem I'm not the only person that's really thought about this. Some other people have taken the matter to another level and have come up with ways to "Customize your favourite brew". An American company, Hop Theory, has come up with a curious invention designed to "transfuse" boring beers into something more drinkable. Today they've announced they've started to take order online.
Personally I'm not sure about this one, but at the same time I'm curious to see how effective these would be. They could be the last resort back up plan!
Are we going to great lengths to just have a good brew these days? Any ideas you have to deal with these scenarios? Will you be making an emergency order to Hop Theory? Feel free to let us know in the comments below