I dined last night at a Toronto wine bar I frequent called Crush. And while I did eventually have a glass of wine, I first had a couple of draught beers, first a local hefeweizen and then a beautifully crisp pilsner, also locally brewed.
It made me wonder if I would fare as well should I wish to drink a couple of different wines in a beer bar. And I suspect that, in most cases, I would not.
Like many beer aficionados, I often criticize fine dining and other wine-oriented places for their abysmal lack of beer selection, and rightly so, I think. But at the same time, when the shoe is on the other foot, I believe most beer places are equally poor at offering alternatives beyond “animal label” wines and simple cocktails. And you know what they say about what’s good for the goose…
Over the past several months, I’ve visited a number of great cocktail bars, like New York’s PDT and Chicago’s Violet Hour, where the beer lists rival anything at a small, beer-oriented destination, and supped wine at places like Crush and Osteria Via Stato in Chicago where several excellent beers were on offer. And yet even finding out what wines are available remains a challenge in most beer bars, much less getting a properly poured Negroni.
Something to think about.