Just to let you all know: WE HAVE HOT LIVE JAZZ THIS SATURDAY, THE FIRST OF THE MONTH WITH THE LIKES OF CARR, MORSE AND SELLENRAAD!!! They’ll probably start around the tune of 9:30 at night and they’re really really amazing. So, if you like incredible music, you should make it a point to be there.
And that’s where I let the right side of my brain take over:
To the person who has taken over the duties of curating the tap list, allow me to offer a couple of pieces of advice from someone who has been doing it for a while. Thank you for your work and I hope you take these words to heart but with also a piece of “thanks for the words dude but I found a better way” in you.
With that being said, here’s what’s worked for me:
Firstly, listen to this VERY LOUD while you pour over the chalkboards.
Next, assign yourself a clipboard, one of the long ones, preferably with some sort of profanity written on the back using one of those label making machines that you bought with the intention to actually get your space organized but you, in certainty, just labeled unnecessary things like water bottles and, well, clipboards. Also, you will need something to write on. If you’re smart, you’ll get a legal pad that either is the same length as your clipboard or one that’s a little shorter. If you’re REALLY smart, you’ll get a legal pad that either is the same length as your clipboard or one that’s a little shorter. The second time around is meant to let you know that you should probably get a shorter than clipboard legal pad.
The point is, be prepared. Write down what you have currently on tap and then lay out what you have stocked to come on when something kicks. Once you have your inventory locked in, it’s time to choose other beers and ciders and kombucha to replace the beers and ciders and kombuchas that you will no longer have once the vessel that they are in are empty.
This is called “curating.”
It’s kind of like an art gallery that you get to drink. Well, not you, someone gets to drink it.
The thing with curating is that you want the ability, at any given time, for a singular person to walk through the door and have something specifically available for them to choose that’s going to blow their beautiful minds.
That’s the trick.
Well, that and you need to really serve the beer. You’re not going to serve hoppy beers ANYTHING but fresh. Serving a month or two (or, gasp – MORE than that – it should be illegal – and, whenever the Beer Police actually is formed I think you’re going to see some crack downs but for now we’ll just have to weigh on moral and professional values) hoppy beer is not doing the customer OR the brewery any favors. That beer isn’t the way in which the brewer who spent eons getting that beer to be what they wanted it to be should be. Beers like Saisons or Imperial Stouts or Barley Wines actually like a little age to them so keep that in mind as well.
So, here’s the setup, ask yourself these questions. And, if you can answer yes to ALL of them, you’re well suited to having everyone happy, which is the point, right? [editor’s note: the named beers that we, Three Penny Taproom, have on right now for you will be in brackets (“[ ]”) next to the questions so that we can be as transparent with you as possible.]
Do you have?:
- Something hoppy but not high in alcohol? [Hill Farmstead Edward – upcoming: Lost Nation Mosaic]
- Something “light” like a Pilsner? [Green State Lager from Zero Gravity – not everyone is in on Craft Beer – some people like the light lagers of yore – that’s not a bad thing – it’s your job to introduce everyone to something they may like – GSL is a fantastic representation of a Pilsner and could be a gateway.]
- Something malty/amber? [Smuttynose Old Brown Dog does the trick here.]
- Something really hoppy? [Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine and Hill Farmstead Abner/Society & Solitude while we have it.]
- Something under $6 a pint? [This is a big one. Your doors are open to everyone. The $6 pint is something that has become something of a rarity these days, which is kind of a shame, especially in beer bars. Beer can be expensive to buy as a business in order to serve your customers. Beer can be not as expensive as the other ones. Plan accordingly and spread the margin, that way, your prices are fair for both parties. But, always have something that helps your customers first; right now we presently have 12 out of our 24 at or under $6. You’re welcome.]
- Something in the Belgian category? [Allagash White for the time being but we’ll have Hill Farmstead Dorothy and Anna on tap fairly soon – also, Allagash White is under $5 a pint with the tax and everything.]
- Something like a Porter? [Mayflower – one of the best available]
- A Stout? [when available, look for Dry Stouts, they go over well. But, Imperial Stouts are very popular as well and can be aged. So, order two, pour one, put one away for the instance that you need a stout.]
- Gluten Free? [in this town? Absolutely. Always have at least one cider on tap [Citizen Unified right now] but try and give options, like having more than one. Also, drink nothing but Gluten Free Beers for about two months looking for one that rises above the rest. Then, try and make sure it’s available readily. In my research, Groundbreaker IPA is the best. We have that now.]
- Something Sour? [Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge and Rodenbach Alexander right now with Almanac Honey Lavender de Brettaville fading fast (selling quickly)]
- Pale Ales? [galore.]
- Lastly, because of the state that you’re in, always have an IPA, a standard to which all others can be judged. I’ve chose Smuttynose Finest Kind because it’s really hard to find one that you can get on a regular basis that is as consistent and as defining as it is. Sure, you’ll have Susan and Mystic Mama from Jackie O’s on, but what I’m really saying is having an IPA ready for when you’re really busy and your customer is in a rush and all they blurt out at you is, “IPA.” (It happens) They won’t be disappointed.
That should be a good start.
Just remember, bringing in the beers that you want to bring in because they’re the shiniest and trendiest out there is great and you’ll have plenty of time to do that (and make sure you do your research); establishing a complete vision is more important than shock value.
- end –
Well, that didn’t go as intended. I didn’t mean to be that serious. That’s what I get for letting righty take over…
So, for an apology, check THIS out.