In celebration of football and food, it seems only appropriate to spend some time talking about beer AND our favorite beer store, Tap and Bottle.
When it comes to great food, I always feel that pairing my meals with a complimentary beverage is as important as the ingredients that go into a dish. Beer plays a big role in our house, especially with the variety available in this craft-brew-age.
Not Just Cool
Craft beer isn’t just a fashionable choice. It’s also not just gourmet. Or just expensive. It’s healthier. Because it’s nearly always made with real food ingredients unlike the well-known, mass-produced beer we grew up with which have been found to contain many of the ingredients which we know to avoid when choosing foods.
Since there is no requirements for alcohol manufacturers to provide us with ingredients, most people don’t realize that their favorite beers like Miller Lite and PBR, for example, are made with GMO corn, corn syrup and even high-fructose corn syrup. It’s beer junk food!
On the other hand, craft beer is made in small batches for quality control and attention to detail, bringing us back to the roots of brewing while adding creative and regional flavors. Each beer is its own unique experience and for the most part there’s not a lot of mystery surrounding what you are drinking. Brewers may not be held accountable by laws to use high-quality ingredients but there is an integrity among craft brewers which demands quality. If you taste maple syrup it means your beer was brewed with maple syrup. If chocolate, then chocolate. Coffee means coffee. Habanero? Oh, that means habanero.
Not being much of a beer drinker (I’m more of a sipper) I think my favorite part may be shopping for beer. I love looking at the art on the labels and reading the descriptions. I love thinking about what meals I’m going to be making and deciding which beers will best compliment them. I love the different beer flavors which come with each new season. I love how I can taste the various regions where the beer is brewed.
We usually buy our beer at the Downtown Tap and Bottle and, occasionally, we will even enjoy sipping a beer on tap while we choose our beers to take home.
Tap and Bottle is great because it’s locally owned by a couple of passionate beer lovers and the atmosphere is casual and welcoming. They have a busy calendar of events including everything from live music to sewing circles to craft days to spelling bees(r)s. In addition to having a small, but tasty, selection of real-food snacks available you’ll often find local food trucks out front and you are also welcome to BYO grub. Oh yeah, and they have hundreds of always rotating craft brewed beers to choose from as well as wine and mead.
If you have trouble picking, ask anyone who works there; the staff is a knowledgeable and beer-enthusiastic bunch and you just might learn something you didn’t know as well as getting a great recommendation.
If you haven’t checked out Tap and Bottle, it just got easier! They now have two locations at 403 N 6th Ave and at 7254 N. Oracle Road. Stop in any day of the week, have a beer on tap and then take some home. (When you are done choosing your beers, if you’re at the downtown location, head two doors down and pick up your locally roasted, organic coffee at Exo Roast.)
* As always, it’s a good idea to read labels before putting anything into your body. Although it is not required that manufacturers put ingredients on labels, they are required to disclose when there are artificial ingredients included. Very occasionally I will find a craft beer which contains artificial flavors.