Beer Tooth Taproom
Converting everyday beer drinkers into well informed enthusiastic beer consumers through education and sensory experiences
Educational Tidbits from Christa and Stefan
Small Business versus Big Pandemic- Part 1 by Christa
July 5, 2021
Since opening in November, we have been getting lots of funny looks and questions about the timing with COVID-19, social distancing, and restrictions. I decided to do a series of blogs to give some insight into the process and prove we are not totally crazy. Here it goes.
First and foremost, we did not plan to start a business during the pandemic. We developed our business plan in early 2019 when the world had no idea that there could be a global pandemic like COVID-19.
Homestead Market was easily our first choice for the location; however, due to several current office spaces being replaced with retail businesses, a parking lot study was required before any conversations about leasing could happen. The study was conducted in mid-2019 and although it only took about a month, the formal approval was not completed until November 2019.
We signed the lease in January 2020. The previous tenants were given time to move out and we got the keys on March 16th. Ironically, NC shut restaurants and bars down on March 17th.
Thanks to several delays, we knew that the drawings, permits, demolition and buildout could be completed while the pandemic ran amuck in NC. Had our buildout and opening proceeded at our original timeline, Beer Tooth Taproom would have gone under before it really got started. We thought this was a lucky break. We were wrong.
To be continued….
We All Need Glasses by Christa
May 16, 2021
Will a really cool glass make a mediocre beer spectacular? Absolutely not!
However, if you are drinking an IPA out of the wrong glass or worse the bottle, odds are you are not tasting all the great hops that were put into that beverage. If your glass has a nucleation sight (that is a 50¢ term for etching on the bottom that keeps the beer bubbling), the hop aroma is continuously being released to enhance the flavor.
Stouts, served in snifters, generally taste better because they are warmed slightly as you hold it.
The shape of the glass can also highlight the appearance of certain styles. For instance, a stange shows off how perfectly clear a Kolsch should be. Let's face it, we all start drinking with our eyes before we even take the first swallow of our beer, wine, cider or seltzer. There are so many drinks out there that just look so much better in the right vessel.
Why does Evian water look like it tastes so much better and cost so much more than the other brands? Their bottles have a subtle blue tint. That reminds me....do you know what Evian is spelled backwards? Get it? People pay more because it looks thirst quenching.
Although we do not stock the 20+ types of glasses for all the styles we serve, you will notice that your glass will vary depending on the beverage you are drinking.
While shaker pints are easy to stack and store, they don’t always do a great job of allowing your eyes to drink in the beauty of your beverage.
To Plexiglass or Not To Plexiglass by Christa
February 27, 2021
To plexiglass or not to plexiglass, that is the question.
With the current state of the pandemic, all business owners have put safety measures in place to protect their customers and their employees. I have been asked about plexiglass dividers, or more accurately the lack there of, in Beer Tooth Taproom. Hearing through a mask is difficult enough but adding plexiglass makes it that much worse. Both my manager, Stefan, and I have experienced people leaning around the plexiglass to hear better. A barrier is useless if it makes people move in closer.
In lieu of enclosing the bar in plexiglass, we choose to social distance by standing back from the bar allowing our staff to keep everyone safe while still maintaining our customer service standard.
Plexiglass is great for a movie theater or 24-hour gas station, not an interactive educational taproom.
What Makes your Beer-tender Good? by Stefan
February 21, 2021
Beer, as with nearly anything else in existence, exists in two different realms simultaneously. The objective truth of the beer itself as well as how the beer subjectively makes you feel. Being able to separate these two things is one of the most important things you can do to develop a trusting relationship with your customers. Allowing your personal feelings to determine the beer you recommend to each customer is a quick way to alienate a good amount of your client base. If we only served beers we enjoyed, you would typically enter Beer Tooth to speeches on how useless the style West Coast IPA is and be forced to drink a pretty large stout anytime you were there. Fortunately we pride ourselves on tasting every beer that comes through our doors and having our strength be separating how we feel about the beer with how well the beer is made. Learning how each customer reacts to and enjoys beer is the most important part of our jobs and one of the things we love doing the most.
So while not every person who walks through our doors might enjoy the same styles of beer, we will continue to provide a little something for everyone’s subjective palette, as well as proudly stand by every objectively well made beer we have on one of our taps.
Don't Kick the Can by Christa
January 21, 2021
On Sunday, January 24th, we get to wish canned beer a Happy 86th Birthday. This American staple of tailgating and beach parties has been around for quite a while which goes to show what a great vessel this is for our favorite craft beverages.
Back in the day, cans were made of steel and lined with lead. Today's cans are made of lightweight aluminum and lined with a very thin coat of plastic. Ironically, they still have a reputation for leaving a metallic taste in your mouth even though no metal touches any beer. I would be willing to bet that the metallic taste is coming from the smell of the outside of the can itself.
So why do we use crowlers here? Well, that's a very good question with a remarkably simple answer. Crowlers keep out light and oxygen. Growlers, which are made of clear and amber glass, are effective at blocking 10% and 95% of UV light, respectively. Crowlers block 100%. The screw tops on growlers leak so oxygen gets in and carbon dioxide gets out. When we seal a crowler with our Oktober Crowler Can Seamer nothing gets in or out. And finally, aluminum is lighter than glass and easier to recycle.
The bottom line is if a canned beer is good enough to shove into a chicken’s nether regions for beer can chicken, it is good enough for Beer Tooth.
Elephant in the Room by Christa
I think we should start by talking about the elephant in the room or should I say the beach bar? I know most people from the Triangle love the beach, but I'm not really one of them. So why did I decide on a beach bar for the taproom? The answer is probably not what people expect. The reason I did it is because Beer Tooth Taproom is an educational drinking establishment, which seems like an oxymoron., and the 4 main components of beer are barley, hops, malt and water (alright for the purity standard of 1516). I have decorated the walls with some beautiful pictures of hops (thanks Swigs Photography) and infographics of the brewing process but water isn't something I want to hang a picture of on the wall.
And that's where the bar top comes in. It drives home the importance of water in brewing beer. Styles of beer have been created because of the mineral composition of the water in certain cities or municipalities. Hard water (containing higher levels of calcium carbonate or gypsum) is needed for brewing stouts and soft water works better for hoppy beer. This is a little over simplified but it should start to give you an idea of how important water can be.
Without good water you cannot make great beer!