Plenty of folks drink coffee all day long. And while it’s generally frowned upon to start the day with a tall pint of craft beer, there are many other parallels between the two artisanal beverages. Both can be scrutinized for unique flavor profiles, traced back to carefully sourced raw ingredients, and enjoyed over good conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. And now, both can be savored at Starbucks.
The concept of serving beer and coffee under the same roof is nothing new. Cafes throughout the world have offered diverse selections of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages for ages. But for Starbucks, a company that gained its notoriety as a corporate coffee purveyor, selling craft beer is a fairly new venture. Since August, the coffee chain has added beer and wine to the menus of over 70 locations (after piloting the program in cities like [*shocker alert*] Seattle).
The addition of “Starbucks Evenings” targets patrons who seek “a safer and more inviting option to meet friends during evening hours than a bar.” Starbucks noted that groups like book clubs and bible studies have even embraced the integration of adult beverages. Apparently, the expanded menu has also attracted many couples who are meeting for the first time after connecting online. Starbucks certainly wouldn’t be my first choice for a Tinder date night… but to each his own!
The menu for Starbucks Evenings includes calorie counts, to keep aligned with the chain’s overall healthful transparency. As a beer nerd, I find the idea of considering health info in my beer selection process particularly odd. Of course, I realize I could sip a glass of sparking water for just a few of the calories of an IPA, but I don’t want to, damn it! I prefer to focus my beer drinking decisions on qualities like aroma, palate, and hoppiness.
Do you think Starbucks should just focus on what they’ve historically been good at—coffee—and leave beer enthusiasts to their own devices?
Personally, if I’m ever in a bind where Starbucks is the only place around for miles and I’m fully parched, I commit to guzzling a grande iced coffee. Chances are, I’ll survive just fine.
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