Brew and Booze News

T.G.I. Craft Beer

On Monday (5/9/11) T.G.I. Friday’s announced their new summer menu that embraces Craft Beer and proclaims that “Everything Tastes Better with Brew”.   While truer words were never spoken I am bit skeptical of a restaurant that once proclaimed, and I am paraphrasing, that “Everything tastes better with an over-sweetened Jack Daniels sauce on it”.

I guess only time, and tasting, will tell if Friday’s is really putting together some great menu choices and hearing the call for better beer or just taking some limited brew offerings and dressing them up in stripes and “flair”.  Given the wording of the press release I am optimistic that the next time my kiddos drag me into a Friday’s I may actually find something I enjoy.

Here is an excerpt from the release:

“Just in time for summer, T.G.I. Friday’s® is bringing out the best seasonal flavors by introducing a new line of menu items inspired by and prepared with beer and featuring other bold, fresh ingredients. The new menu combines innovative dishes with craft beer, proving that great food is “better with brew.” Friday’s® guests can celebrate the relationship between great food and a cold draft, pairing new seafood or steak dishes with the bold, hoppy flavors of  Fat Tire, Magic Hat, and other craft beers being introduced to the beer roster.

Friday’s is offering these regional craft beers in its restaurants for the first time, answering the call by 40 percent of consumers who like to try beer that pairs well with a seasonal dish, according to a recent survey.”

The release goes on to list some the brews that Friday’s will be featuring.  They include:

  • Harpoon IPA
  • Magic Hat #9
  • New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
  • Goose Island Honkers Ale
  • Abita Amber
  • Alaskan IPA (Alaska only)
  • Boulevard Wheat
  • Uinta Cutthroat Ale (Utah only)

While this is not the “craftiest” beer menu this is a step in the right direction toward better brew.    I am sure the availability and freshness will vary wildly but I give Friday’s high marks for trying.

If you would like to read the full press release, which includes descriptions of the new menu items,  click here.

5 replies »

  1. Great post Wookie. Super encouraging for the craft beer industry – bit by bit, they’re infiltrating the big boys’ territory. And I can enjoy my half price apps with good beer. Excellent news.


    • I guess only time will tell if this is a good thing for Craft Beer. I don’t know if I am excited or worried:

      – Expanding Craft Beer to a wider audience
      – Creates a “Fallback” restaurant when there aren’t options

      – Some brews aren’t too crafty (Goose Island = AB/Inbev)
      – Anytime something goes mainstream it get’s diluted for the masses
      – Cooking with beer is a tricky thing, much harder than wine. If not done right it could lead to some bad food.

      Fingers crossed


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