Craft beer bars make darling first date spots, wonderful happy-hour locales, and all around awesome places to contemplate the last twenty-four hours over a cold one. Choosing the right craft beer bar will not only impress your Tinder date and coworkers, but will provide you with a watering hole staple for years. But there’s a problem. With great trends come deceitful imposters, and as is the case with phony craft cocktail and wine bars, there are a lot of beer joints that really fall flat. Don’t reinforce your boss’s suspicion that you don’t do your research and end up in a so-called craft beer bar that’s really just a limp keg party in disguise. Here’s how to sift the genuine from the meh.
The Only Beers Available Are Blue Moon, Shocktop, and Red Hook
Hey, guess what? None of those beers are craft brands, despite what they might have you believe. In fact, all of those beers are carefully marketed projects from beer giants like Anheuser-Busch. If you want to see a full list of fake-o “craft beers,” check out this map. Now, here’s the thing. There’s nothing wrong with these beers, but a real craft beer bar should have a fairly large selection of craft beer. That means beer made by independently owned breweries. Is it too much to ask a self-proclaimed craft beer bar to stock actual craft beer? We don’t think so.
The Tap List Never Changes
Some of the craft beer bars we enjoy visiting change their tap list every week. While that’s a lot to ask for, a real craft beer bar will have a frequently rotating selection of draught beers. That’s because craft beer bars are constantly bringing in new, exciting brews for you to try. Good craft breweries introduce new flavors and styles that vary with the times or seasonally, and craft beer bars are there to vend them to you. Just ask a bartender at a craft beer bar how many craft beer sales reps (s)he sees a week to give you an idea of how much of a (constantly shifting) selection is out there.