It was when I went to an Applebee’s located in Pottstown, PA I noticed JUST HOW MUCH Craft Beer is making its mark on the restaurant industry. And I’m not talking Mom and Pop shops or that local watering hole down the road. I mean CHAIN restaurants. Yes, chain restaurants.
Now, I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a craft beer snob. Yes, I will drink my Miller Lites or have the occasional Corona, but nothing tastes better than a pint of an IPA filled with floral hops or a Stout giving off that coffee aroma. And being the beer advocate that I am, I tend to avoid chains like Applebees, TGIF and the occasional Ruby Tuesdays. But one night, the bartender over at Applebees hands me a receipt and mentions a survey. Basically, taking a couple minutes to complete the survey means seeing some local craft beer favorites served at that Applebees. Once he mentioned local favorite of mine, Sly Fox, I was taken back. Sly Fox? At an Applebees?! No way!
But the more and more I thought about it, it’s really not that strange. Other up and coming breweries such as Round Guys & Prism Brewing Company are seen on tap at TGIF’s all over. Plus Champps & PJ Whelihan’s are also well known chain restaurants that always have amazing craft beer varieties on tap. Fox and the Hound is another one notorious for their stellar beer list.
And you’ve probably seen Magic Hat #9 and Victory Brewing Company’s Hop Devil at a number of these hotspots. These beers are becoming a household name. It’s only a matter of time whether or not we see the regular domestics such as Miller Lite & Bud split evenly with Sly Fox & Prism.
Time will tell. Until then, I won’t avoid the idea of going to a local Friday’s or Applebees in the near future.