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A letter to Yard House

Posted by Steve Greenlee  April 30, 2012 06:02 PM

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Dear Yard House,

I'm impressed with your huge array of taps. Keeping 140 beers on draft is a feat in and of itself. But six weeks after your chain opened a new restaurant in the old Boston Billiard Club a block from Fenway Park, I continue to have a few issues with you:

(1) While you have the biggest tap list in the area, your staff seems unable to keep track of everything. (Given a choice, I'd take the much smaller, but well-curated, tap list at Deep Ellum any day.) When I stopped in at Yard House over the weekend, one bartender didn't know which beers were on the rotating taps -- he told me I should look on the electronic screen listing them -- and another told me he had "Dogfish Head Palate Wrecker." Palate Wrecker is made by Green Flash Brewing Co. Perhaps he was confused because Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA was newly available in bottles. One of the bartenders was also unable to give my buddy guidance on trying a Belgian beer that wasn't (as he put it) white and cloudy.

(2) Prices are not listed. This is a problem. I'd like to know -- before ordering -- how much that small goblet of Gulden Draak is going to run me. Every other craft beer bar lists prices. You can too. Which leads to my next point:

(3) Pour sizes are not listed. This is a problem. I'd like to know -- before ordering -- whether I'm getting a pint of beer or merely 10 ounces. I realize that not all beers are equal and that it wouldn't be wise to down three pints of a beer containing 10 percent alcohol, but there's no reason not to tell people how much they're going to get. (I'll hold off complaining about my goblet of Piraat, which admittedly pours with a big head, but my glass was nearly half filled with foam.) Which leads to my next point:

(4) Alcohol content is not listed. This is a problem. I'd like to know -- before ordering, and especially if I'm driving -- whether my beer is 5 percent alcohol by volume or 12 percent ABV. There's no excuse in 2012 (or 2007) for a craft beer bar omitting alcohol content from menus.

Every craft beer establishment out there lists ABV, pour size, and price. It's simple respect for the consumer. I realize you probably don't list any of these things on your menus at any of your locations across the United States, but here's an idea: Start in Boston.

Email me at Follow me on Twitter @SteveGreenlee.

Gary Dzen

About 99 Bottles

Gary Dzen writes about craft beer here and in the Globe when he's not covering the Celtics for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GaryDzen.

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