TGI Fridays Embraces Cooking with Craft Beer

We had heard earlier this year that TGI Fridays was going to be introducing Craft beer onto its beverage list, well someone must have said this stuff would taste great if you marinated it in beer.  So TGI Fridays is taking the next logical step and cooking with the craft beer.

Their new “Better with Brew” menu features 5 different dishes each using Craft Beer in the preparation.  This includes a flounder dish, a Steak Marrinated in Beer, a Chicken Dish, and Baby Back Ribs with a beer laced Barbecue sauce.  All sound interesting, but that isn’t the MOST interesting part of this…

See you and I on occasion , or all the time trade beers to get what we cannot have locally.  When we do it it technically is “bootlegging” and it is illegal, much like your friday night poker game or office final four pool is technically illegal.  However when a corporate giant like TGI Fridays Parent Corporation Carlson Restaurants Worldwide does it, the Feds sit up and take notice.

What does this mean?  It means that different craft beers will be used in different parts of the country, potentially drastically changing the flavor profiles of each dish.  Pretty cool.  Here is a list of the beers that will be used in different restaurants around the country:

    • Harpoon IPA
    • Magic Hat #9
    • New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
    • Goose Island Honkers Ale
    • Abita Amber
    • Alaskan IPA (Alaska only)
    • Boulevard Wheat
    • Uinta Cutthroat Ale (Utah only)

Judging from this list, the flavor profiles will be mostly IPAs and Ambers, but it is a great start.  I’m really excited about this latest acceptance and promotion of craft beer in the US.  It is yet another sign that craft beer is making great inroads into the culture of the country and into the minds of people who enjoy good beer.

What do you think?  I personally will go to TGI Fridays on my travels now to compare different menu items made with different regional brews.  Otherwise I wouldn’t step foot in a TGI Fridays.  Will you give it a try?


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26 Comments on “TGI Fridays Embraces Cooking with Craft Beer”

  1. May 11, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    It’s a good idea. Too bad I won’t eat at TGIF.

    • Don
      May 11, 2011 at 11:50 am #

      I wouldn’t either, but now I will. I think they need the support for a great idea. I might even go there for lunch today, is a matter of fact I will go there for lunch today, and report back.

    • May 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      I can’t – they shut the one around here down. It was killed by Houlihans, which I’ll admit I love. Deeply.

  2. John Joyce
    May 11, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    So long as you can pair said dish with microbrew used to marinate. No not the actal beer used to marinate DON/JIM!

    • Don
      May 11, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      That is good John, you are learning to preemptively strike at Jim’s verbal jabs. Good job. I am assuming that said beer is also available either on tap or in bottles/cans.

      • John Joyce
        May 11, 2011 at 11:55 am #

        Indeed. I also got a bottle of the Knob Creek Single barrel. Looking forward to trying it.

        • Don
          May 11, 2011 at 11:59 am #

          Let me know when you do. It still hasn’t shown up in Idaho yet! WTF?

        • John Joyce
          May 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

          Alas poor Idaho. The final frontier. Come on down to civilization and I pour you one…or more.

  3. May 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Unless I’m with a group of family or friends that insist on going there, there is absolutely no way you could get me into a TGIF, Bennigans, Chilis, Olive Garden, or any other of these chain restaurants. That’s just the way I swing. 🙂

    But if it converts a lifelong Bud drinker to drink craft beer, well then I’m all for it.

    • johnking82
      May 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

      I’m still waiting for Hooters to make the switch.

      • Don
        May 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

        Maybe some craft beer infused and glazed chicken wings while you watch, ahem…”the game.”

    • Don
      May 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      So Will, what you are saying is they are good enough for the bud drinkers of the world, but you have evolved beyond the locale and type of cuisine that TGIF offers. I could see that.

      • May 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

        I like my food, just like my beer, to not come from some large faceless corporation; local is almost always better.

        The post I put up on Monday on my blog, featuring Thirsty Bear in San Fran, exemplifies how good food and craft beer can be together.

        • Don
          May 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

          Ok, but you should at least give them an A for effort, no?

        • May 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

          Oh ya, just like I said, if a crappy beer drinker can be converted, then more power to them. I just see it as another fad that will be dropped by TGIF as soon as the next big thing comes along.

          I understand that not everyone has the same misgivings that I do about these restaurants; I know quite a few people that live where that’s the only place to eat within a reasonable drive.

        • Don
          May 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

          They could be worse off. They make a pretty fantastic bowl of French Onion Soup with a half a cob salad. Or so I’ve heard…

        • May 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

          Is Don the mascot of that place?

        • Don
          May 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

          Jim, Didn’t you hear? Carlson Restaurants Worldwide has acquired and is merging one of your favorite places. It will henceforth be known as TGI Houlihans.

        • May 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

          I heard Houlihans was merging with Bennigans and they were going to call it Houligans. Good food, but you don’t want to watch a FIFA match there…

        • May 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

          I don’t know, Don do you like tapas? 🙂

        • Don
          May 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

          Only if they serve them in large portions and call it a dinner. 😉

  4. The Wookie
    May 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Remember that Friday’s is the restaurant that once told us food was better with Jack Daniels. The execution of that marketing mantra led to them slather a syrupy sweet JD based sauce on everything … YUK! They could easily screw this one up too but I am cautiously optimistic that they will do better this time.

    At least I will have a decent brew selection the next time my kids beg to go there.

    • johnking82
      May 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

      as we say in Kentucky, Jack Daniels is Tennessee garbage.

      • The Wookie
        May 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

        Amen to that!

    • Don
      May 12, 2011 at 8:37 am #

      True. That JD sauce was gross. I’m sincerely hoping that the execute this latest menu better than their JD menu.


  1. TGI Fridays Embraces Cooking with Craft Beer | CookingPlanet - May 11, 2011

    […] TGI Fridays Embraces Cooking with Craft Beer […]

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