Sunday, November 16, 2008

Features Of A Good Beer Bar - The Online Tap List

The Baltimore Beer Guy had an excellent commentary about what features a good craft beer bar should have. His post was concerned with a bar's ability to non-verbally communicate to the patron what beers are on tap. This has been a big issue for myself as well. Especially being in the Los Angeles area, most people can't just skip down the road a few miles to a great beer joint. Nope, you really have to venture out, almost always on the freeway, and who knows how long it could take. Who wants to do that when they don't know if anything interesting is on tap? Let's face it, there are some places we all love to frequent, but sometimes we just wouldn't go unless we knew something was there that piqued our interest.

That leads to the point of emphasis; pubs advertising what is on tap via website or newsletter, so that the patron doesn't only have to find out the minute they pony up to the bar. This is a good thing. Some great examples of this in the Southern California area are O'Brien's, Beachwood BBQ, Toronado SD, Hamilton's Tavern, and to some extent Hollingshead's Deli and Churchill's Pub and Grille. Each of these places has a website that is updated frequently- from Beachwood BBQ's HopCam of their tap board that refreshes every 15 minutes to the other places who update their webpages every couple days to a week. The key here is to keep those lists updated! I've seen pubs completely forget about them for weeks or months, leaving those in the dark who have to travel relatively far. Is that a lot of work if an establishment already has a website? I doubt it. I can't imagine it taking more than 10-15 minutes to update what is on tap at least once a week. And at least as far as I go, these online lists do a lot in terms of getting me to want to make a trip. If I didn't know what was on tap, I wouldn't make it to these places near as often.

I really do wish more places would embrace the online, frequently updated tap list.

Thanks to The Daily Pint, a beer bar in Santa Monica I've heard more than a fair share about via Hair of the Dog Dave's website for alerting me that they also have updates on their taps, which can be seen on their draft list and on their blog which updates about new beers.

Soon I'll put a category in the sidebar with a list of all the bars and links to their frequently updated tap lists. If you own a bar/pub that does this or know of one, let me know here with a comment or at my email address and I will add it to the sidebar when I make it.

1 comment:

Daily Pint said...

Great post, we agree.

Check out the Daily Pint's new website,

New beers are listed on the What's New blog, and we try to update 3+ times a week!