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Breweries vs. Bars, which do you prefer?



The last time I went to a pretty sweet party was TYW (The Yacht Week) in Greece. I was scheduled for another epic experience at Tomorrowland Winter in 2020, but COVID got in the way. I was in Valfrejus, France skiing with some new friends before heading to Tomorrowland Winter in Chamonix when the world began to shut down from COVID. I had a little over 24 hours to get a flight back to the US before border closings were to go into effect. I felt like I was living my best life and then BAM – forced quarantine for an unknown period of time.


Before the pandemic, I wasn’t really much of a brewery dude. When things started to open up a little during the pandemic, my awareness of the alcohol landscape had changed quite a bit. Breweries, in my opinion, were on track to take over the game, but I think the pandemic helped to accelerate that change.


Before I dive into the comparison of breweries and bars, I’m going to lay out the general research I found about the two.



Bars


Bars are places where people can go and enjoy alcoholic drinks. The main purpose of bars is to give you every variety of alcohol you might desire. While it is a specialized business, it also limits the type of customers you could cater to. So, it is really important that when you go to a bar you know exactly what you want and what you want to do.


There are several things to consider when you go to a bar such as variety, culture, location:


Location: A bar is mostly located in an urban setting with working professionals, dropping in after a day of work to relax or on the weekends and nights which are dedicated to drinking and partying. So, if you are located in the thick of the city, a bar can easily be your go to spot.


Culture: Every Bar has a history, ambience, and vibe that they want their customers to feel. From their pricing to the lighting and art, to the music and service style, each bar sets a tone. Bars also often have later hours of operation that allow for all-night fun.


Variety: Bars can range from watering holes with simple snacks, to full menu eclectic offerings. Recently I’ve noticed many more bars as full-service restaurants, so it has become a bit interesting.


Breweries


A brewery or brewing company is a business that makes and sells beer. The place at which beer is commercially made is either called a brewery or a beerhouse, where distinct sets of brewing equipment are called plant. There are different kind of breweries:


  • Microbrewery – A name used since the 1970s for a small, often independently owned brewery. In the 21st century the largely synonymous term craft brewery is also used.

Example:

-Flying Dog Brewery// Frederick, MD.

  • Brewpub – A brewery whose beer is brewed primarily on the same site from which it is sold to the public, such as a pub or restaurant. In the United States, if the amount of beer that a brewpub distributes off-site exceeds 75% it may also be described as a craft or microbrewery.

Example:

-Rock Bottom Brewery

-Granite City Food and Brewing

  • Farm brewery – A farm brewery, or farmhouse brewery, is a brewery that primarily brews its beer on a farm. Crops and other ingredients grown on the farm, such as barley, wheat, rye, hops, herbs, spices, and fruits are used in the beers brewed. A farmhouse brewery is similar in concept to a vineyard growing grapes to make wine at the vineyard.

Example:

-White Rooster Farmhouse Brewing// Sparta, IL

-Hill Farmstead Brewery// Greensboro Bend, VT

  • Regional brewery – An established term for a brewery that supplies beer in a fixed geographical location.

Example:

-Smartmouth Brewing Co// Norfolk, VA

-O’Connor Brewing Co// Norfolk, VA

  • Macro brewery or Mega brewery – Terms for a brewery, too large or economically diversified to be a microbrewery, which sometimes carry a negative connotation.

Example:

-Bold Rock Brewing Co// Nellysford, VA

-Samuel Adams Boston Brewery// Boston, MA



So now that we have a pretty good idea of the different kinds of breweries, we can now dive into preference between breweries and bars.


One of the reasons breweries became so popular was due to the location, the culture, and the variety.


Location: Where I lived during the pandemic, I believe they were between 8 to 10 breweries in a ten-mile radius, so it was easily accessible for me and friends to get together in an outdoor seating area and be very comfortable.


By Culture,

· Is it dog friendly?

· What’s the layout of tables and couches set up for?

· Do they have live bands or bingo nights?

· Do they have card games and yard games?

· Can you bring your own food, or do you have to buy theirs?


Variety is how often they switch up their menu and create new options


These are just some of the things I know people think about when they choose a place to go to for a drink. There are so many options to choose from when trying to pick a place to venture to, so choosing the right place for you is a personal decision. But, like I said, I have 8-10 breweries within walking distance of my house with different environments and different cultures. I can easily pick from the selection to match my mood and interests for the outing.


Maybe it is because of the slower and quieter pace of life I was forced into during Quarantine, but the ease and fun of the brewery hopping lifestyle has begun to appeal more to me for the first time.


Below is a vote for Brewery vs Bars, tell us your thoughts on what you prefer.


Thanks for Reading.




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