I knew about this USA Today article only because the reporter e-mailed me last week for information, but whatever my personal views about the newspaper, make no mistake: Localism's the object, but it's always a pleasure to have one's business mentioned in a national publication. Moreover, the manner of this topic's framing is wonderful.
In an odd sort of way, given that the newspaper's source is a vast and detailed on-line beer ratings aggregator, the tiny details are less significant than the broad generality, and the heading itself undoubtedly makes the central point for those who may not have been aware of such a phenomenon as a brew pub: "Brewpubs offer great beer, good food and local flavor."
Using the word "local" in this context absolutely makes my day.
At USA TODAY's request, (Joe "Rate Beer") Tucker chose 20 favorite brewpubs or taprooms for beer quality and 18 favorites where the food stood out. He chose only brewpubs that serve food and their own brand of beer.
"Unlike traditional restaurants, these are social establishments that are places to relax, sample the local flavors and enjoy some conversation," Tucker says.
The West and the Midwest are tied at seven for the most brewpubs or taprooms on Tucker's list of favorites for beer quality.
Does it surprise you that the Midwest ranks highly? It shouldn't.
You'll note that among Indiana breweries, our world-renowned friends at Three Floyds in Munster rightfully merit inclusion in the "Where the (best) beers are" category, while NABC makes the "Tucker's best brew pubs/taprooms for food quality" list.
Our inclusion is based on the Pizzeria & Public House's perennially solid ratings, for which I thank all of our patrons. Note that NABC's original location shares a significant trait with the Three Floyds brewpub, in that our own beers are dispensed side by side with high quality guests drafts. You can get away with that only if your own beers are quite good.
Brewpubs offer great beer, good food and local flavor, by Gary Stoller, USA TODAY
Peter Krein heads to local brewpubs during his free time on business trips, and "there are literally hundreds of places" he can recommend.
Among his favorites are The Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, Omaha's Upstream Brewing Company and Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus in Columbus, Ohio.
Brewpubs often have "outstanding food, so, when I arrive in a new town, I seek them for food and a great, new beer," says Krein of Carlsbad, Calif., who works in the medical device industry and spent about 175 nights away from home on business trips last year. "Every city has great beer makers, and, if their brewpubs are suitable, I sometimes entertain clients there."