If someone asked you to go out and grab a beer, you probably would say yes, provided they met at least one of these three criteria: They’re a friend, they’re good looking, or they’re buying. Now, if that same person asked you to go grab a beer at a chain restaurant, you might think twice…unless they were still buying. Actually, the more I think about it, I think I’d still go even if they only met that second criteria.
Chain restaurants like Applebees or Ruby Tuesday seem to have more mixed drinks than you can shake a stick at, which they like to bring to your attention with their 4,500 page menu of mixed specialties. That’s great if you like mixed drinks, but let’s be honest, chain restaurants are not exactly known to have the best reputation when it comes to beer selection…or do they?
Uno Chicago Grill is exactly that: Numero Uno when it comes to chain restaurants and beer selection. I’ve been to a few different Uno locations and their beer selection is second to none in the chain restaurant community.
The Uno I went to in Oxford Valley, PA had over 20 beers on tap, most of which are delicious. Besides their phenomenal draft selection, they also have over 20 bottled options including Three Philosophers from Ommegang, Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde, and Yards Brawler.
The beer I decided to go with was Fegley’s Brewworks Insidious Imperial Stout. Nothing makes me happier than an Imperial Stout, except perhaps one that was aged in a bourbon barrel, such as this one, and at a robust 9% A.B.V., that was enough to tide me over until my next stop.
Another neat special Uno had going on was their “You kick it, you call it” special. A big participant during Philly Beer Week, Uno had about 30 kegs left over, and until those kegs are gone, if you kick a keg, you get to call what goes up next. Some of those options include Weyerbacher’s Merry Monks (one of my all-time favorites), Dogfish Head Namaste, and River Horse Double. Uno has over 150 locations in the states with most of them located on the east coast, so if you ever are in the area of an Uno, do yourself and your liver a favor and stop in.
Our next stop took us to Buffalo Wild Wings. There are over 600 company-owned and franchised Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar restaurants in 41 states, so odds are you might be able to find one near you. If you do find one near you, you will hopefully have 30 beers on tap like the location I went to in Oxford Valley, PA.
They have most of every main stream beer but also some great local brews such as Victory Hop Devil and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. I went with Hop Devil because, well let’s be honest, I don’t think Victory does anything wrong. Buffalo Wild Wings also had over 20 beers in bottle to go along with PBR cans, which was fantastic in every way. Oh yea, and I think they have wings there too….
After I finished my Hop Devil, our final stop was T.G.I. Friday’s in North Wales, PA. I’ve been noticing lately that more and more Friday’s are starting to expand their beer selection, which of course makes me happy.
This Friday’s had the afore mentioned Victory Hop Devil but also had a few options from a local brewery called Prism Brewery, which is also located in North Wales, PA (That will be another article for another day). One of the beers they had on tap was Shady Blond, which is a delicious summer beer, and was a great way to end our excursion.
These are only a few examples of how chain restaurants are starting to expand their beer selection, and I can only hope they are doing that in all of their locations. If not, and you find yourself in the central New Jersey / Pennsylvania region, I just gave you three great options to grab a beverage or three.