With 200-plus Oktoberfest celebrations expected to take place around the country, and more than 6 million beer drinkers descending on Munich for the 16-day traditional festival, this is definitely a month for beer promotions. Okay, your restaurant isn't in Munich, and maybe you're not one of those who are planning an Oktoberfest festival, but you can match brews with food, beef up your beer list and experiment with a few onpremises events. Here are some inspirations:
- Winning Ways: If beer is an important part of your restaurant's offerings, keep customers in the loop. In Wilmington, DE, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant promotes the fact that it has earned 12 "Best Of" awards from area publications, with a total of 73 awards since 1996. Specific awards include "Best Beer Selection, Draft," "Best Brew Pub" and a Reader's Choice Award for "Best Micro-Brew, Upstate."
- Bottling Bavarian Culture: In January 2004, the only officially licensed reproduction of the 500-yearold-Hofbrauhaus Munchen in Munich, Germany, opened in Las Vegas. With its slogan "Stay Thirsty," Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas is proof that the Bavarian beer experience translates well to the desert. The 800-seat restaurant is an exact replica of the Munich landmark, with its beer hall and beer garden. The beer is brewed in Munich and shipped to Las Vegas.
- Brews and Food: At C&L Steakhouse in San Francisco, Chef Peter Zoole has developed beer-compatible menu items, some of them featuring seasonal beer. Specialties include Oyster and Pumpkin Soufflès, Pork Chops and Wilted Greens, and Baked Apples with Dried Fruit and Nuts.
- Signature Beer: Among brews listed on the new corporate-wide beverage menu at the seven Phillips Seafood Restaurants is the signature Phillips Amber Ale, handcrafted for Phillips by Clipper City Brewery. Patrick Henry Creative Promotions, Houston, helped develop the menu.
- Brews and Views: At 1,200 participating Applebee's casual dining restaurants around the country, customers who order Coors Light beer will find their drink served on a DVD case/ coaster containing a half-hour DVD of football's greatest moments. The four DVDs each feature different Super Bowl moments, to encourage customers to return and collect them all. The promotion runs from October 3 to December 11, 2005.