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Five things to know about stocking US beer

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Aaron Edwards, owner of specialty beer bar Bitter Phew in Sydney, discusses the nuances of stocking American beer in his venue.

1. IT WON’T ALWAYS SELL

People think that beer will sell just because it is American. It won’t. Fill your menu with quality products, and if there is a really good local IPA, and you don’t want all your beers to come from the same brewery, find an equivalent IPA from a US brewery.

2. IT TASTES DIFFERENT

What it tastes like here is not what it tastes like in the US. Most beers are designed to be drunk within four to six weeks. By the time it gets here it is 12 weeks old, so that peak flavour does not exist. It’s not designed to taste like that, especially the hop forward ones.

3. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU BUY

Don’t pander to a narrow market. A customer says, “Oh I like this beer”, so you get it in and you then realise that they are literally the only person that likes that beer. There needs to be a market attached to what you are doing. There is probably a reason something is hard to find here, it might not sell.

4. BARREL-AGED BEERS ARE BIG

Barrel-aging is the next big thing in the US – that and blending beers, which is no different to blending wines. That’s the most progressive style and it’s going to change how people approach beer because it allows brewers to create flavours and nuance that you just don’t get otherwise.

5. GET EDUCATED

If you don’t know what it is supposed to taste like to start with and you put it on, it’s a recipe for disaster. I’ve been guilty of putting a beer on and then realising it’s not right. If you don’t have experience in identifying a fault you can lose customers. Plus you’ve spent $600 on a keg you can’t serve and shot yourself in the foot.

 

Article originally published by Stef Collins in bars&clubs magazine

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