Last week representatives from every Picturehouse Cinema met at Hackney Picturehouse for a gruelling afternoon. The objective: to sample 143 beers, ales and ciders in order to make a selection for our drinks menus for the year ahead.
Okay, so it wasn’t the most arduous of tasks, but it was a key one in ensuring that our cinemas offer a delectable and diverse range of brews.
Simon Woplin, Beverages Operations Manager at Picturehouse Cinemas, led the afternoon, and before the not-so-laborious task of beer tasting we discussed what it meant to make a definitive list of draught and bottled beers. The consensus was that each cinema should shape a tailored boutique range, steered by local insight and knowledge.
At Picturehouse Cinemas we try to provide our customers with products reflecting their own tastes and aspirations, with a focus on diversity, localism and innovation. With that in mind, each cinema has responsibility for choosing what to stock – after all, they know their customers better than anyone else.
After a sprightly conversation on beer barrel fittings and glassware, our eyes turned – with professional glee – towards the liquid banquet before us. From the classic Pilsner style of Japan’s Kirin Ichiban to the oak-aged ale of Scotland’s Innis & Gunn Original, the assortment of bottles embraced the world, with flavours to suit any beer enthusiast’s preferences.
As each drink was considered, we thought first of the cinema audience, with an emphasis on established local popularity and nearby breweries. We also discussed the tastes and styles particularly suited to the different moods of cinemagoing. For example, last month Clapham Picturehouse recommended the wheat ale Blue Moon and the Brooklyn Lager to go with the frosty, bohemian New York setting of INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS.
After every tipple had been sampled and analysed, cinema representatives sat down to discuss and draw up their shortlists – some with rosier cheeks than before. All in a hard day’s work to guarantee that an exciting and different selection of beers will be on offer at every Picturehouse Cinema you visit. Cheers!