In last week's Six-Pack of News, I noted a Vinepair article where columnist Will Gordon made up his ideal draft beer tap list for his hypothetical bar. It seemed like a fun little exercise, so I'm going to do the same: curate a diverse 16-tap beer line-up. A few points:
1) My goal is to find a nice blend of both local (to the Carolinas) beers AND beers with more widespread distribution.
2) Some of the taps are pre-selected, style-wise, while some are more open. I made some changes to a couple categories compared to Will's list. This was simply to suit my tastes a little better.
3) This reflects a fairly realistic list for a list I could put together here in the Carolinas. While I'd love to have Firestone Walker or Russian River or some other craft legend on my wall, that wouldn't be realistic.
Let's get started.
Tap 1, House IPA: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA-one of the best in the market right now. If I stock this, I might, from time to time, want to use one of my wild cards or rotating IPA slots for one of the flavored Sculpin IPAs, but we'll refrain from that for the purposes of this exercise.
Tap 2, House Pale Ale: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale-this is in part a nostalgic choice, as Sierra Nevada is the first craft beer I ever had.
Tap 3, House Porter: Holy City Pluff Mud Porter-both of my dark beers are going to be local, simply because they are among the best I've had.
Tap 4, House Stout: Duck Rabbit Milk Stout-see above. Guinness would be the easy answer for this one, but there are so many better choices.
Tap 5, House Cheap Beer: Narragansett Lager-this seems to be the new cheap beer, gradually overtaking PBR.
Tap 6, House Pilsner/Lager: Yuengling Lager-a sentimental choice, admittedly.
Tap 7, House Blue Moon Alternative: Harpoon UFO White-in the summer, this would probably become an appropriate summer seasonal like Sam Adams Summer Ale. I had a crazy idea for this one, but I stayed true to something Blue Moon-ish.
Tap 8, House Session Beer: Harp Lager-really, this was my toughest category, as I wanted something of worth and to avoid the macro-brewed pale lagers. Checks in at 4.2% ABV, which works for something sessionable.
Tap 9, House Amber/Red/Brown Ale: Highland Gaelic Ale-admittedly, I swapped out another category for this one for the sole purpose of giving this beer a steady slot on this list
Tap 10, Rotating Pale Ale or IPA: Stone IPA-an incredibly highly-regarded IPA. As this is a rotating tap, some other possibilities would include Founders Centennial IPA, Bell's Two-Hearted Ale, and Westbrook One Claw Rye Pale Ale.
Tap 11, Rotating IPA or Double/Triple/Imperial IPA: Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA-not really my thing, but I admit it's a great beer. See above for other possibilities.
Tap 12, Rotating Local: River Rat Hazelnut Brown-staying in Columbia for a personal favorite.
Tap 13, Rotating Local: Foothills Torch Pilsner-this is an in-state beer, and I needed a Pilsner. Other locals might include others from Holy City, River Rat, Swamp Cabbage, Coast, and more.
Tap 14, Rotating High-Distribution Craft Legend: Bell's Oberon Ale-though this is a seasonal beer, so others might include Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA, some selections from New Belgium, Founders KBS, and others.
Tap 15, Rotating Wild Card: Founders Rubaeus-so as to have a fruit beer on the menu, as well. As a rotation, other options include Sweetwater Blue and one or more ciders, like Bold Rock IPA (India Pressed Apples).
Tap 16, Wild Card: Westbrook White Thai-the one I almost put in for Blue Moon alternative because it is technically a wheat beer. But I got it in. This was supposed to be a "rotating wild card" slot, but I would keep this up permanently.
I'll admit, this was a little harder to curate than I expected. Things like the rotating locals were hard to pick just one. Thanks for checking this out!