House Beers for Pubs
As we ease into the weekend, a little aperitif to whet your whistles. (And the first time I've done two posts in one day in a long, long time.) An email came over the transom about a local project, reminding me of a concept I've been surprised is not more widespread. It comes from Bailey's Taproom, one of the first good-beer pubs in Portland, and long one of the leaders.
Debuting at BelgianFest VII, Bailey's Taproom will feature a rotating house beer, or Hausbier. Brewed by a different brewery each quarter, expect easy-drinking, sessionable styles that fit the seasons and our tastes. The series will be exclusive to both Bailey's Taproom and the current participating brewery.... We invited our longtime friends, The Commons, to collaborate on the debut beer of the series.This is such an obvious win-win. It's very cool for a pub, which gets an exclusive and also a beer designed specifically for its clientele. Pubs all have their own vibe and way of being, and this is a way of reinforcing it. Visitors to NYC have long delighted in the unique beers served up at McSorley's--only two offered, and offered nowhere else. It is impossible to imagine the experience separate from those beers.
But it's a win for a brewery, too. It guarantees not just a handle at a pub like Bailey's (which reserves no handles for specific breweries), but one that will be highlighted and featured. At one time, when breweries weren't used to creating forty or fifty recipes a year, this might have been a challenge, but no longer. Brewers think in terms of new beers, so this fits their model nicely. So long as the brewery doesn't have to make batches in 100-barrel increments, it's a great way to serve your creativity, your brand, and make a little money on the side. Bailey's has long cultivated relationships with breweries, so rotating different breweries through quarterly is a nice "thank you" for these relationships.
Why don't more pubs do this?