Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Craft" Beer Bars - What are they?

I was asked to define what a craft beer bar was and frankly I am at a loss for words. It is difficult for me to use the word craft in a sentence that contains beer, bar, brewery or brewer. I am an old wood worker but never called myself a craftsman. There are real craftsmen out there but they do not make craft wood. They do make well-made products with their skills. England is having a row over this with real ale. The beer campaign CAMRA defines real ale that is made the traditional way without adjuncts and served without forced carbon dioxide gas. Does that make other beers bad or not made by craftsmen? No.

All beer is made in a brewery by a brewer. That’s it. No other words need be added. All beer on the market right now is beer. What you like or don’t like applies to everyone. My beer is not your beer. The price of the beer in a bar is irrelevant as is the color, taste, alcohol content or materials used to make it. Beer is beer.

I asked twitter followers to update me with craft beer bars so I can add them to my website, I used the word craft, as that seems to be in use to day to eliminate “certain types” of beer. So what am I asking?  I am looking for bars and restaurants that are clean and safe. Places that you could take your wife or mother. They should have food that is not out of a bag. The beer (here it comes) should be served through clean lines if on draft. The beers themselves should have been made without off flavors or aromas, although this is not the bars fault but if made known to them should remove it for sale. The number of taps does not make a craft bar. Smoking bars can be on the list.

The question of what makes a good bar is: did you enjoy your stay and what you had and would you come back.

When taking to others I often hear, “I don’t like their beer”. I always retort, no their beers are well made, you just don’t like the styles they make. This is true. If you are not a hop head they you will not enjoy some of the world’s finest hoppy beers.

I rest my rant.

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