Tap Takeover Blues: Too Much?

Are you sick of tap takeovers? You're not alone - a growing number of beer enthusiasts are showing their displeasure for this trend, and for good reason. Tap takeovers are becoming more frequent and less meaningful. Read on to learn why this trend has become tiresome and what can be done to curb its presence in local craft beer culture.

These days, it seems that just about every bar and restaurant has to participate in a tap takeover: an event which brings people together to showcase different beers and other beverages from a particular brewery. While tap takeovers can be fun in theory, the reality is that they are becoming increasingly unwanted. Yes, you read correctly. We hate tap takeovers, and we’re not alone. There’s a growing number of people who believe that these takeovers are doing more harm than good.

Why We Need to Rethink Tap Takeovers

When done right, tap takeovers are exciting events that celebrate a particular brewery, provide customers with something new to try and build relationships between breweries and bars. However, with the industry seeing a spike in craft beer’s popularity, tap takeovers are starting to become more like a chore than anything else, and here’s why:

  • They’re a waste of valuable taps
  • Exploitation of employees
  • They’re not as “exclusive” as they used to be
  • Lack of creative freedom (especially at bigger venues)

1. They’re a Waste of Valuable Taps

Beer taps are a precious commodity in any venue, as they represent the opportunity to show off the hard work of local breweries and draw in customers. Unfortunately, due to the increase in the number of tap takeovers, many bars and restaurants are running out of physical taps to accommodate all the kegs being sent in. This can be especially frustrating for venues that are more invested in showcasing their own tap selections.

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2. Exploitation of Employees

It’s no secret that the craft beer industry is one of the most competitive in the world. Breweries are constantly trying to upstage the competition with their newest, coolest and most innovative beers. This means that breweries are always trying to push their tap takeovers on bars and restaurants, regardless of whether or not those venues need them. Unfortunately, this means that the employees of these establishments often have to deal with the brunt of the work with little to no compensation, as they are usually stuck having to manage the behind-the-scenes hard labor.

The stress of planning and executing a tap takeover can be overwhelming and can lead to burnout among employees. This is especially true in larger establishments that often have to manage multiple takeovers at once. The pressure to adequately prepare and serve each brewery’s beer can lead to employees feeling like they’re being exploited and that they don’t have any say in their own work conditions.

3. They’re Not as “Exclusive” as They Used to Be

Individual tap takeovers used to be something special. They were a way for bars and restaurants to show off the latest offerings from their favorite breweries and give customers a chance to try something different. However, due to the recent increase in both the number and frequency of tap takeovers, many of them have become little more than a “me too” affair. Customers now come to expect that they’ll be seeing the same breweries being featured week after week and are left feeling like they’ve seen it all before.

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4. Lack of Creative Freedom

Tap takeovers often lack in the creativity department. Many establishments now simply rely on the same breweries for their takeovers and don’t bother to mix things up. This can be especially glaring in bigger venues which often find themselves in more of a one-size-fits-all situation, as brewers are often more interested in pushing their own products than catering to the needs and interests of the venues and their customers.

A Better Way to Do Tap Takeovers

It’s clear that the industry needs to rethink the way it approaches tap takeovers if it wants to keep them exciting and relevant. Here are some ideas for how to shake things up:

  1. Incorporate local breweries: Tap takeovers should celebrate the hard work of local brewers, who often don’t get the recognition they deserve.
  2. Focus on variety: Mix things up and make sure that you’re offering customers something new and interesting every time.
  3. Give employees a say: Tap takeovers should be a collaboration between the establishment and its staff. Employees should have the opportunity to suggest ideas
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