In the past decade or so, the craft brewing industry has done a fairly effective job of securing beer’s rightful place at the dinner table. An unprecedented number of restaurants offer extensive, stylistically diverse beer lists, and their staffs have enhanced their education to the point where many servers and sommeliers can expound on flavor notes and recommend pairings with pinpoint precision.
Wine Spectator released its latest edition of Restaurant Award winners, a heralded and extensive list that sets the standard for beverage programs across the globe. This year’s list honored 3,592 restaurants from more than 75 countries broken into three categories: Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence, and Grand Award.
On a hot and humid day, a glass of wine—particularly red wine—can be a hard sell. Customers want to refresh their palates with a chilled, crisp drink. But for those who have trouble choosing between a cocktail or a glass of wine, a wine spritzer is the perfect solution.
In an effort to educate beer lovers about which beers are independently produced, the Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers—launched a new seal touting independent craft brewers.
Any restaurant that opens without a solid beverage program in place risks disappointing clientele who are increasingly cocktail-savvy. Furthermore, a loss of profit is inevitable when the menu makes only wine and beer the alcoholic priorities.
Moody Tongue Brewery (2136 S. Peoria St.), the culinary brewery from Brewmaster Jared Rouben in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, announces the release of two new beers: the Peeled Grapefruit Pilsner and an Aperitif Pilsner.
Taste (4584 Laclede St. St. Louis, MO 63108), the acclaimed cocktail and small plates bar from James Beard winner Gerard Craft, introduces a new menu of 18 ambitious cocktails to celebrate the change in seasons.
The National Restaurant Association announced Chad Brown of Sacramento’s B-Side as the 2017 Star of the Bar, a national mixology competition hosted by the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants event.
In January I joined bartenders from Istanbul and Vienna to judge a Diplomático Rum competition in Budapest. One by one, enthusiastic Hungarian barkeeps took the spotlight, showing off concoctions starring the spirit—my favorite featured pineapple juice and Ethiopian cold-brew coffee—that they hoped would garner them a plane ticket to Venezuela for the April finals.
The craft beer market has evolved quite a bit in the past decade but there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: Year after year, IPA (or India Pale Ale to the more formally minded) ranks as the, hands-down, most popular beer style.
Spirited SuccessesTwelve restaurants where the bar is raised to exceptional standards. by Alia AkkamA staggering number of bars today—whether an upscale speakeasy or neighborhood dive—astound with their rich collections of obscure spirits, carefully created concoctions, and knowledgeable staff.
Currently, there are over 5,000 craft breweries in this country, each offering an endless range of annual styles and flavors. Building an interesting craft beer program is not as formulaic as it once was by simply featuring heavier, stronger styles in colder months and lighter and more sessionable brews during the summer.