Monday, February 27, 2012

Absolute Absurdity

I've gotten myself into some hot water over at Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog. I must forewarn you that the argument that I've gotten into is one of the dumbest I've been in in a while, here's the gist: Let's debate the merits of a bar that doesn't exist.  Last week the duo-bloggers proposed an imagined pub that sells 99% beloved/maligned brown Bitter. This place has all the trappings of what one would expect from that sort of place. Hand pumps primed with, UK-borne, cask-conditioned real ale Bitter. Coolers, behind the bar are chock-full of more of the same, while tomes and volumes by the best British beer writers help educate the uninitiated.

Heineken? Fuck that shit!
Pabst Blue Ribbon!
A bar that only sells one kind of beer—the whole concept seems off to me. It appears to stem from British beer absoluteness. That word—"absolute"—is what caused all the hoopla, by the way. The absoluteness isn't wrong or bad, it's just, well, absolute. Actually, it's a matter of presentation—British beer should be served a certain way, look a certain way and taste a certain way. We don't have that rigidity in the U.S., a single-style pub just wouldn't fly here.

Or, would it?

Apparently, the Playidum Hotel, in where else but Brooklyn NY, is a canned beer only establishment. Not just any canned beer either—the old school stuff. The Playdium offers everything from the hipster's choice: Pabst Blue Ribbon, to Schaefer, Schlitz Gusto, Yeungling, and Piels, just to name a few. The big boys are available too, in Original Bud, Coors Banquet and Miller Highlife, but not in their "lighter" alter-ego form—or on tap. Everything is priced right as well—at $3.00 a can. There are a few exceptions to the can-only mantra of The Playdium, along with the numerous aluminum offerings, they also carry bottles of Mickeys' "Big Mouths" and 7 oz Rolling Rock "splits." Aside from the classic beer, The Playidum also boasts a pool table and a vintage shuffle board table.

So, I ask in the same words as Ms. Boak and Mr. Bailey—Does that sound like a nightmare, a dream or something in between? One caveat on that, though. It's one thing to stop by and have a PBR as a goof, but is this the kind of place you would frequent?

Now is your chance to prove me wrong... or hopefully right. 


  1. I'd totally try it if the place were fun. It's novelty, but at least they have the guts to do something different. And their beers are novelty and cult brews. That would be enough to get me in the door, and yes have a PBR for kicks. But it's the overall personality and quality of the place and the people that would get me to come back.

    I'd rather enjoy drinkable novelty beer in a fun place, than have to settle for Bud and it's kin, elsewhere. Those times I just have iced tea or stay home with my good beer.

  2. Okay, chalk one up for yes. Thanks, Aaron.

  3. I've been to plenty of American beer bars that only seemed to have two types of beer: pale, strong and hoppy and dark strong and hoppy.

  4. Ron, I think that comes, more often than not, from the distributor rather than from a conscience effort by the bar owner to sell only strong, hoppy beer. I think the sale reps push strong, hoppy beer to make bigger sales on their end.