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Coffee City

Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.

November 3, 2010 at 3:19 PM

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Esquire magazine disses Starbucks' beer and wine list

Posted by Melissa Allison

Allecia Vermillion, editor of Seattlest, writes in Esquire's "Eat Like A Man" blog that Starbucks' newly remodeled shop on Olive Way is a step up aesthetically -- "once known in the neighborhood as a thinly-veiled former Boston Market had been transformed into a warm, urban oasis" -- but doesn't think much of its beer and wine list.

The "lackluster offerings" do not even include draft beer, Vermillion writes. "And if you're hoping to stave off the rainy weather with a nice porter, you're sorely out of luck: The three options on the list are all medium-light, medium-bodied, designed for mass appeal."

The Pyramid Haywire Hefeweizen didn't impress her either, serving only as a reminder of Pyramid's recent sale to Labatt (via its previous owner, Magic Hat in Vermont).

Vermillion is kinder to the wines, but definitely not inspired. She predicts no wine geeks, beer aficionados or rowdy groups will frequent Starbucks for the booze any time soon.

I can imagine Starbucks being okay with that. If Olive Way is the test site that the chain says it is, then mass appeal is the point. It would be hard to scale up to 16,000-plus stores worldwide with a wine and beer list of serious depth, in numbers or flavor.

With local coffee bars lining up to sell booze, have you found any with great offerings?

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