Tap Takeovers, Eyes Wide Shut
Posted on 3/19/2013 by Chops
So I was chatting with a friend and fellow beer fan the other day and we were discussing our weekend plans. I had mentioned that I was attending a tap takeover event, to which she replied, ''what's a tap takeover?'' It was in that moment when I stumbled upon an interesting observation: tap takeovers are the beer equivalents of in-the-know events, the ''Eyes Wide Shut'' parties of the beer world. Every single time I have attended a local tap takeover, I have seen the same people, all of them certified card-carrying beer geeks. To help illustrate what I mean, gauge the following reactions to ''Bell's Tap Takeover this weekend''.

Beer Fan A: ''Huh?''

Beer Fan B: ''Holy shit, where?! What time?! What rares are they tapping?!''

I can say with reasonable clarity that Beer Fan A has a handful of tasty craft beer six packs in their refrigerator, while Beer Fan B has a fully stocked beer cabinet full of magical wonders.

Does any of this matter? Of course not. Should you care? Not in the least. I simply found it amusing that tap takeover events tend to be reliable separators of beer geeks and beer fans.

For anyone needing an explanation, the concept of a tap takeover is simple: an establishment (usually a pub) that serves beer on multiple taps gets approached by a brewery for a promotional event. For a designated period of time (usually an evening), every tap in the establishment is replaced with an array of taps from that one brewery. It mutually benefits both pub and brewery, i.e. free beer for the pub, free publicity for the brewery, and new customers for both. This gives beer fans the opportunity to explore the many facets of a single brewery in a single sitting. Brewery choice has been removed from the equation. It's now all about the different styles. And as icing on the cake, breweries usually like to feature a rare beer or two.

It really is a fun experience and I highly recommend all levels of beer fans check them out. Just be prepared to talk about beer because the geek flock will have assembled.

In closing, I included a video clip of one of my favorite tap takeovers: a Bell's event at my favorite local beer store. Along with their core line of savory delights, they also featured the rare and delectable Bourbon Barrel-Aged Batch 9000 American Strong Ale. Sweet, sweet mercy.

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