Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coyote Blues Beer List Fail

Those of you who really know me or have ever spoken with me about Bite and Booze know that I don't fancy myself as a food critic, but rather as a food and beverage enthusiast.  I've been able to make a name for myself and find a market for my writing and speaking through highlighting what I love about eating and drinking, and the culture and traditions which surround them.  For that reason, I rarely post a "bad review" or even call a place out for serving frozen burger patties (unless you're in Tuscaloosa, AL, of course).  I prefer to highlight the good generally at the expense of ignoring the bad.  If I have a meal or a cocktail that I don't like, I usually just choose not to write about it.  I don't have time to write about everything I eat anyway.

That being said, I feel like it is high time I take a stand on some things that really grind my gears.  I would have been writing this post about the foolishness of the Baton Rouge Metro Council had item "T" regarding the food trucks been passed last night.  Instead, it was deleted from the agenda because everyone not named Smokie understood how frivolous it truly was.  Props to that.

Today I'd like to rant about piss poor beer lists... and about general dumb-ass-ed-ness when it comes to menu creation with beer.  Please observe this snapshot of the menu from Coyote Blues in Baton Rouge:

Coyote Blue's Beer Menu
To their credit (well, not really), the Mexican and "Latin" selection is not seen in this picture.  There are a few more crappy lagers available than this if you like what marketing companies have led you to believe is beach beer.  However, I'm not ranting about the quality of the beer on their list.  I'll give you a second to look it over if you haven't noticed the problem already.


Kegs of Macrobrew
Okay, time's up.  Since when is Shiner Bock an import?  We have to "import" beer from Texas now?  I realize that crossing state lines can be an issue with alcohol distribution, but it isn't really importing!  I suppose that I half-way sort of kinda understand-ish the old school mentality of "domestics" and "imports" being used more for price differentialization (can I make up that word?).  That needs to change too, though.  However, when you HAVE A CATEGORY for "Domestic Specialties" in order to solve the price gap issue, and then still list Shiner Bock under imports, I REALLY have a problem.  To me this shows one of two things: ignorance or lack of giving a flip.  If ignorance is to blame, then sometimes there is no cure.  Fire the person who ignorantly thought Shiner Bock to be a German beer and hire somebody who knows their stuff to create a new menu.  If, on the other hand, you don't care about things like this, then I will even more quickly stop caring about your bar or restaurant.  Show a little passion for your beer list or I won't assume that there is any sort of attention being paid in the kitchen, either.  

And if I may... and it is my website, so I grant myself permission... Blue Moon should not be on any respectable beer list as a "specialty."  It is produced by Coors.  It is as "macro" and "domestic" as anything on the list above it.  I understand that it might carry a bit higher of a price tag, but please stop trying to pretend that it's something which it ain't.  I know they aren't actually calling it a craft beer, but it also shouldn't be deemed special.

Everyone please feel free to send Coyote Blues Baton Rouge a memo that they may want to change their embarrassing beer menu.  I'm okay (though certainly not thrilled) with a Mexican place having a terrible beer selection, but they ought to at least label it correctly!  This sort of thing shames me and, in my opinion, this city.  We HAVE to be smarter than this.  Beer menus and wine lists are tied in with the entire gastronomic experience of eating out, and I'd rather everyone in Baton Rouge impress rather than disappoint.

Attention restaurants: you're now on notice.  It only takes a little effort and a little bit of caring about the products that you sell to correctly put together a menu.  If you need help, call me.  I'll do some consultation.  But if you make an error like this, I just may have to call you out on it.  Be warned.


  1. A little education would do some good. I went Around the World at the Chimes and that was an eye opening experience. One realizes that Heineken, Corona, Budwieser, Miller Lite, etc... are all swill. (Not that I won't drink Miller Lite when I'm at a crawfish boil) Ladies will often say "I hate beer" because they sip the swill and can tell that it is horrible. My wife is one of these. But you can give her some Ol' Peculiar or Mackeson's and all the sudden she doesn't hate beer anymore. She hates BAD beer.

  2. Abita Amber is an import in Erwinville, La.

  3. Give 'em hell, Jay!

  4. Natalie Parbhoo4/13/2012 11:20 AM

    What a great exposé.. If you look deeper, you'll find that there are many other places exhibiting the same neglect for the beer/ wine menus. It's sad. With Baton Rouge consumers becoming smarter and demanding better quality in their beers, restaurants should take advantage of this positive change and be a part of this movement. Every single day, restaurants and bars are taking pride in their beeir lists and putting products on that will actually improve the food experience/ customer experience that they are already providing. In some places, people have told me or listed Abita as an import.. That says a lot about a place that allows this sort of mistake.
    If the customer goes in and demands better products, establishments can either listen and improve, or lose those customers to places that care and cherish this movement. I declare a Brewvolution!

  5. I could go on for a while about all the piss-poor beer lists around the Baton Rouge restaurant scene. What frustrate me the most is the places that actually do offer a decent NUMBER of beers, but it's all the same light, mass-produced, tasteless crap that you can find in any gas station in the country. "Well, let's see, we've got something for everybody: Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, Budweiser, Bud Platinum, Heineken, Blue Moon, Newcastle, Bud Select, MGD, Abita Amber, Corona, etc."

    Would it really kill them to sub out of few of those interchangeable light beers with a few decent craft brews? It's not like guy who would've ordered Bud Select is going to be least bit frustrated that he has go to Bud Light instead.


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