Too Many Taps ?

Too many choices?

The Boise craft beer scene has been exploding for the last few years and I and many others have been riding the wave of new interesting, and frequently good beer all along the way.

This proliferation of new craft beer options been showing up in 2 basic forms.  Either a new brewery opens up and offers a line-up of 6-10 of their wares on tap, or alternately, a place that while doesn’t brew on premises, offers a lot (40-50 sometimes) of taps pouring beers from around the region or across the country

Recently, it seems, I’ve seen a few posts, tweets and Facebook updates disparaging these high-count tap beer bars.  Mainly bringing to bear the “lots of taps is nice but stale beer is still stale” shtick.

Not only do I not have a problem with this problem but I take particular umbrage with the snobbery or “beer elitism” this sort of smells like.  These are the same people that send back a beer telling their server that the carbonation is not within .5 volumes of being correct for the style. I suppose these nay-sayers would prefer to have Dagger Falls, Rustler/Outlaw IPA, Black Butte Porter or for that matter Widmer Hefewiezen on every other tap in town.  Because since it moves so fast, you are always guaranteed to get a pour from a keg taped only hours ago.

Keep in mind, distributers or rather the brewers themselves, often have what’s called 1/6 barrel kegs that are deployed to tap-houses and beer bars. For those not in the know, that means these vessels are only slightly more than 5 Gallons. As the historical and rather anachronistic moniker “Barrel” is 31 gallons.  That means about 80 pints.  And unless the establishment you are at really does pour a full pint…that’s probably more like 100 or so servings.

How long does it really take to pour 100 glasses of a particular beer?   Breweries know better than to package their Cognac Barrel aged Brett Basil Grapefruit Fig Berliner-Weisse in 15.5 Gallon kegs and drop them off at PreFunk or Starvin’ Sam’s minimart Growler fill station.  I’m not sure even I would try more than a 4oz taster of something that weird.  A year later if I wanted to try it again….it would probably still be there….right where I (and everyone else) left it.  Mother earth, Lagunitas, Melvin, Fremont, Terminal Gravity, all have offerings that all but the most casual beer enthusiast would spot and go for.  If you cant move 100 glasses of Pelican’s Tsunami Stout in a reasonable time, well then maybe you should turn over your lease to the nail salon.

There are plenty of nerdy beer samplers or “tickers” out there that will try something just because its new.  Having 40 taps pouring interesting, rare, or one-offs is just fine and the Boise Beer nerd collective (yours truly included) will take care of it. ThankYouVeryMuch.

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