Appetizers

Dishing the news about the Sacramento area food scene

Is a taproom a must for local breweries?

02/03/2014 1:57 PM

02/03/2014 1:59 PM

We had a great discussion on Twitter the other day after I wrote about Ruhstaller’s proposed new taproom downtown (along with plans to build a brewery rather than rent temp space to brew at other sites).

I asked if having a local taproom is important and why? As I see it, a taproom is crucial. But it’s also complex, and Ruhstaller owner J-E Paino knows it.

He knows his taproom, once up and running at 630 K St. in Sacramento, can’t siphon away customers from restaurants and bars that sell his beer. He knows he can’t compete with his wholesale customers, and he knows he can’t undercut them on price.

He can’t make it more fun to drink Ruhstaller beer at his place. But he still has to use his taproom to inspire brand loyalty and get visitors to learn about the company and its mission.

In other words, he’s going to attempt the impossible. He’s going to have a taproom that doesn’t sell his regular year-round beers. Only experimental or limited release beers will be on tap. And if he does sell from his regular inventory, he’ll charge more so his restaurant and bar friends won’t be miffed.

On Twitter, we didn’t get into all that. But my followers, at least, made it clear they want to connect with the breweries on a personal level by drinking the beer from the source at the source. Here are a few of the many responses. If you want to be part of future conversations, please follow me on Twitter (though beware: you will also see photos of my dogs!).

About This Blog

Appetizers brings you the latest restaurant happenings, interesting tidbits on good food and events, and -- of course -- great specials and deals.

Regular contributors

Chris Macias
Food and wine
cmacias@sacbee.com
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni
Counter Culture
apierleoni@sacbee.com
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Debbie Arrington
Food and cooking
darrington@sacbee.com
Twitter: @debarrington

Blair Anthony Robertson
Restaurant reviews
brobertson@sacbee.com
Twitter: @blarob

Key links

Dining reviews
Restaurant guide
Recipes
Mike Dunne's wine picks
Beer Run
Nosh Pit
Restaurant inspections
 

Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service