I believe that living in and around San Francisco for so long has made me a bit of a food snob. But not the kind that insults and avoids bad food, just that I judge food to a sometimes superfluous degree. I’m also someone that is a huge supported of small business and true “mom and pop’s” places. I try to not let that bleed through to my beer appreciation. With that, Buffalo Wild Wings caused a bit of a conflict for me.
B-Dubs has been a bit of a running joke for Jason and me. I am not a buffalo wings person. I’ve chomped through my share, but I don’t seek them out. And I often hate being in the strip mall style chain place that pushes their gimmick hard. So when I sat down to join Jason there for lunch and a couple beers, I tried to just take it as a quite bite and beer. And, of course, I had an order of wings and was sad to hear that the actual dish is not called “Buffalo Wild Wings“.
While sitting and order bad beer after bad beer so I can log beers I may never have access to again on Untappd, I stared and ridiculed the beers they had…and the Dewshine. But after sitting for a while and ordering more, I realized that places like B-dubs, with their ratio of 23 macros to 7 craft (at that location), aren’t a bad thing.
As I sat at the bar and cycled through macros that I wouldn’t otherwise have at hand, I realize the opportunity that all the other people at the bar around us had. They were ordering their usuals, but they were faced with the curious variety of craft beers. In the case when we were there, Lagunitas IPA was out (that’s pretty mainstream in SF), so the person chose Anchor. And this might be case for your average B-Dubs diner and drinker. Maybe after their third Michelob Ultra, they decide to try that 805. Maybe since Torpedo and is the same price as Stella, they decide to try it.
This may not be an even analogy, but let’s give it a try. You are a basketball fan. The significant other in your home buys a large selection of chips, including your favorite (for these purposes, let’s say it’s Salsitas) but also bought her favorite (I’m going sea salt and vinegar kettle chips for that one), something for the kids you’ve never had before (chocolate cheetos) and something that was on sale (blue barbecue corn chips). The game runs long with lots of shooting fouls and a halftime ceremony. Maybe it even goes into overtime. It is so long, you eat all your favorite chips. Because of the availability of the others in the house, and you just can’t watch basketball ball without eating chips, you pick one. Maybe you like it, maybe you hate it. But if you like it, maybe next time it won’t take you running out of your favorite chips to try another flavor.
B-Dubs and places like it with a giant selection and comfortable chain environment might make the average beer drinking comfortable enough to try beers they don’t usually drink. And maybe it will be a Blind Pig instead of a Coors. No matter what it is, at least they’re comfortable enough to step out of their comfort zone. And Buffalo Wild Wings offers that padded room.