If you live in the United States and drink craft beer, chances are you’ve come across, or at least heard of, one of the 39 outlets of the Yard House, a chain of beer bars each of which typically boasts one hundred or more taps. Based in Irvine, California, the company has been experiencing huge growth of late, opening new restaurants and breaking into new territories at a torrid pace.
Nation’s Restaurant News has all the details here, but the pressing issue for me is what Darden will do with the Yard House concept and how it will proceed with regard to its beer selection. I’ve known Yard House’s existing head beer guy, Kip Snider, for many a year, and whatever else might be said about the man, he has always placed quality beer and staff knowledge high on the agenda at the company, no matter how fast they opened new outlets.
Will Darden maintain the same focus on the “craft” part of craft beer? Time, I suppose, will tell, but in my opinion they’d be foolish to pursue any other course.