Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Pubs and Publicans: The Secrets of America's Top Taphouses

So, two weeks ago, I'm browsing the beer sites on-line and I come across the All About Beer magazine website and see that the upcoming edition will feature a cover story dedicated to some of America's best public houses (pubs). Needless to say I got excited and left my office that night in search of the magazine.

I live in Orillia, ON at the present moment and figured the bookstore in the mall would have it among the many other magazines they carry. So I drive over and start the search. Nothing. Okay, let's try Wal-Mart, they have a large magazine selection. Nothing. Weird I think, but, hey, this is Orillia I remember. Someone recommends the Cigar and Magazine shop downtown, "they have everything" I'm told. So back across town I go and when I get there I am told that they stopped carrying it months ago; lack of purchases. I guess there aren't many beer geeks living here (not the best place to open a brew-pub?).

So, to make a long story short, no store in Orillia carries the magazine. Luckily, I spoke with a friendly staff member at All About Beer based in Washington DC. She told me that all Chapters sold them, but she would send me a complimentary copy. I guess she sensed my enthusiasm. A week later I received my copy in the mail.

The article focused on a handful of American tap houses, ale houses, inns and pub's that have gained notoriety over the years for their vast beer selection. So, because this magazine is hard to obtain in rural areas or areas without a Chapters, here are a few highlights of the article.

The Brickskeller Inn in Washington, DC holds the title in the Guinness Book of World Record for having 1,300 bottles of different beer available for purchase. The Inn is located in a old boarding house built in 1912 and current owner Dave Alexander has his enormous beer memorabilia collection set up like a museum.

The Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME features over 50 draught selections, but what makes them really unique is the web-cam featured at the bar. Customers can check how full the pub is from home before venturing off for some drinks and can actually see the tap handles telling them what's on tap that week.

The Falling Rock Tap House in Denver has a shrine of over 2,200 empty bottles on display, 69 taps and a revolving line of bottles that can range anywhere from 120-170 bottles at any time.

The Capital Ale House makes sure that each server that is hired goes through an intensive beer course that is followed up with seminars on Belgium beers, German Lagers, Ales etc. They also have 77 taps.

I found a recurring theme throughout the article that all the pub owners mentioned, became successful due to their passion for the pub and beer industry. This article could be a useful tool for wanna-be pub owners one day (myself included). I can only hope that with my passion, I can build my future pub to be as successful as these ones are.

1 comment:

Brewmaster Dave said...

Further reading:

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