Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Disappointing Experience at Mystic Brewery

Discussion in 'New England' started by dwmetsfan13, Mar 23, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. dwmetsfan13

    dwmetsfan13 Savant (485) Massachusetts Jul 22, 2013 Beer Trader

    Short Version: In addition to our valid IDs being rejected at Mystic, the staff was rude and condescending in doing so.

    Long Version: We had friends in town this weekend and wanted to take them on a mini brewery tour of Boston. Despite an awesome time at Trillium, Idle Hands, and Night Shift, our visit to Mystic left something to be desired.

    As young professionals in our early to mid twenties, we obviously expected to be IDed at Mystic. After presenting the bartender with 3 valid New York licenses, he told us that he couldn't serve us without seeing the hologram on the IDs. I know nothing about IDs so it's possible that in the dimly lit tasting room he just couldn't see the hologram or it's possible that NY IDs don't have a hologram or it's possible that since my ID is a few years old that it was before holograms were added, whatever. He then asked if we had any backup ID and we furnished a number of additional items ranging from debit cards to old college IDs to a corporate AmEx. Apparently this still wasn't enough so he called over another bartender. That bartender similarly didn't accept our IDs, so we gave up and left.

    It was disappointing enough-and a bit embarrassing-to have our valid licenses rejected; however, throughout the entire ideal the two bartenders were speaking to us condescendingly and smirking at us as if they "knew" that we had fake IDs and had "caught" us. I'm not sure what underage kids are trying to get drunk off of 2 oz. samples of saisons, but I understand with the recent sting at Wachusett that breweries need to be careful. Instead of being apologetic though we were treated like a bunch of kids presenting a blatantly phony ID. As we were exiting the brewery, we could hear the staff mocking us with other visitors to the tasting room.

    Although I was excited to try Mystic since I'm a recent saison convert and like supporting local breweries, I won't be returning. With so many local breweries like Jack's Abby, Trillium and Night Shift where the staff is friendly and and loves discussing their beer with you, I think I'll be content going elsewhere.
  2. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (870) New York Mar 21, 2010 Beer Trader

    Wow, that really sucks. Try sending a note to owner and let them know about your bad experience.
    FrankLloydMike and Providence like this.
  3. No worries - you didn't really miss anything - either the place or the beer. Plenty of other Saisons to drink in MA/New England.
  4. The report I got on this was that there was not one but two people in the group who looked significantly under 21. Our manager is originally from NY and claimed the first license he was given had none of the proper markings and had a license DOB of 1980...34 years old, not early to mid twenties, for a person who looked in appearance to be about 16. All the patrons in the tasting room agreed that some in this group looked very young. That said, we are not in the business of making assumptions. My sincere apologies if we were in error.

    We are in the process of obtaining our full pour license and we are well aware that the ABCC will send underage people to test licensees policies and procedure. I've instructed staff to be vigilant but friendly.

    As for the condescension: that is just unacceptable, and I am very upset to hear that. The staff claims that there was some jibing from people in the tasting room; but what they said was just matter of fact. I will review the situation with them and clarify the proper way to handle a situation like this.

    Founder Mystic Brewery

    Now, bahnfire...sounds like you just need another saison. Perhaps Mary of the Gael...which is the only Mystic saison you have rated and you gave a 4. ;-)
  5. dwmetsfan13

    dwmetsfan13 Savant (485) Massachusetts Jul 22, 2013 Beer Trader

    Assuming you are in fact referring to our situation, we had 3 people in our group with 3 valid licenses. 2 birthdates were in 1990 (24 and 23) and one in 1992 (21). It's possible he misread the birth year as 1990 which would explain part of the issue...

    Again, if the staff was a bit more apologetic and explained why the situation was such that they had to be particularly vigilant I would be more understanding if still a bit frustrated since I've never had any issues anywhere else, especially upon producing a confirming piece of identification. As I mentioned though, the general tone was belittling and condescending.
  6. dennho

    dennho Savant (375) New York Oct 29, 2006

    From our Commonwealth's website:


    On July 30, 2012, the Governor approved Chapter 170 of the Acts of 2012 that amended M.G.L. c.138,
    §34B1. As a result, beginning October 29, 2012, alcoholic beverages licensees may reasonably rely on

    the following forms of identification for proof of age:
    1. A Massachusetts Driver’s License;
    2. A Massachusetts Liquor Identification Card;
    3. A Massachusetts Identification Card;
    4. A Passport Issued by the United States or a government that is officially recognized by the
    United States;
    5. A Passport Card for a Passport issued by the United States; and
    6. A Military Identification Card.

    A lot of people don't know that an out of state drivers license is not a valid ID to purchase alcohol in MA.
    I work at a packy 10 minutes from Rhode Island so we ask for another form of ID with your name on it if you have an out of state license. However that would not be acceptable if there was an issue.

    No excuse for being a jerk...

    Pegli likes this.
  7. BobCobb

    BobCobb Savant (415) Illinois Jul 10, 2012 Beer Trader

    It's not that an out-of-state license is invalid, right? It's just that before, the store owner was shielded from liability if the customer used an out-of-state license and turned out to be 21? I'm assuming that's no longer the case.

    I've had trouble with my IL license because I have an expiration extension sticker on the back (ironically, meant as a convenience to out-of-state IL residents with a clean record). Marty's refused to sell to me before and wasn't particularly polite about it (I never shop there anymore).

    You'd think a state that imposes something like this could perhaps make it as burden-free as possible to secure an alternative. Hmmmm...nah. $25, please. It couldn't possibly be a revenue play, could it?
    FrankLloydMike and smutty33 like this.
  8. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (235) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    Massachusetts has an overall problem with out-of-state IDs. Several times (in my mid-30's) I've been denied service at various bottle shops in various towns in the state. Yet other places have no problem at all.
  9. Sesmu

    Sesmu Savant (370) Massachusetts Feb 28, 2007

    well, it is not valid, at least ABCC does not accept it as valid, for alcohol purchases. Basically, it comes down to this, if you present a legitimately looking MA ID and it turns out to be fake, and you're under 21, the store will have some sort of defense. But if you present a fake out of state ID, and you're under 21, the store will have no defense.

    So the decision is up to the individual stores on how to handle this. If the store trusts its employees, educates them, and so forth, they may take out of state, or even other countries' IDs. But some stores decide that it's better to play it safe and don't accept anything that is not listed in @dennho post.

    But of course, even when refusing a purchase the store clerk or bartender have to handle it in a polite manner. Especially since very often the person making a purchase is old enough, s/he just can't prove it by other means.
  10. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (675) Vermont Oct 22, 2003

    Buddy of mine from VT was in Northampton with his wife and kid (he's in his 30's and has graying hair). Ordered a Founders Breakfast Stout, got proofed and turned down- boy was he disappointed. I went to the same place with my daughter who was way under 21 at the time after seeing a show at the Ironhorse. They put a coaster down in front of her and I swear it looked like they might serve her. You never know, all bartenders are different- it's their ass on the line.
    If the liquor authority sends someone in, they will not have a fake license. They will usually be someone under 21 and whose license states they are under 21.
  11. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (745) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Beer Trader

    I've been to some bars and stores around Boston where they don't accept out-of-state IDs.
  12. I once had to turn away a woman who's ID wouldn't scan in the machine of the store I worked at and she literally cried and threatened to call the cops and "make us" sell liquor to her...
    codasnap52 and jomobono like this.
  13. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (445) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012 Subscriber Beer Trader

    I'm sorry, I really needed a drink.
  14. dortenzio1991

    dortenzio1991 Savant (285) Connecticut Aug 12, 2011 Beer Trader

    Ive been denied alcohol with a valid CT license a couple times in Mass. Apparently they only accept Mass IDs.
    Also, NY ids have a pattern that looks wavy on the front when you tilt it in the light and when you bend it in half it should feel gritty like sand paper.
    Chlodwig23 not trying to hijack the thread, but advancedIDdetection.com makes ID scanners that are full proof, but expensive. They will easily spot fake ids that are purchased over the internet and their database is updated every month.
  15. Full proof ID scanners? Shit, I didn't know you could bottle machines at cask strength.

    Stop bitching, @dwmetsfan13. Sorry you didn't get in, but they are a private business and have the right to turn away anyone. If your party looked suspect - especially in light of their trying to get a new license and MA being known for trying to bust bars - then good for them for turning you away. It means they are willing to forgo the $50 your party would have spent so ensure that they wouldn't be shut down or fined. Seems prudent to me.

    You're a Mets fan. You should be used to disappointment.
    SadMachine, HRamz3, cheers55 and 7 others like this.
  16. Ieatlambfries

    Ieatlambfries Advocate (590) New Jersey Dec 5, 2003 Beer Trader

    Sounds like you reside in MA, but still carry a NY ID. If so, why? Go get a proper ID from the state you reside in, and any potential issues will be avoided.
  17. "As young professionals in our early to mid twenties"

    Anyone who refers to themselves in this way deserves to be mocked and belittled. I'll be making a point of going to Mystic now (already liked the beers).
    SadMachine, jlordi12, HRamz3 and 6 others like this.
  18. Aaron58

    Aaron58 Savant (325) Massachusetts Dec 16, 2007

    Echoing what others have said, It is up to the establishment whether or not they will view out of state ID's as valid. And it doesn't matter how many credit cards you present, all that proves is that you are you, not how old you are.

    I sort of wonder if maybe since you were already angry and embarrassed that perhaps you perceived them being condescending and rude. I have had to turn away many customers for ID reasons and ill bet half of them left the store with some kind of thought about me being an asshole or a jerk, when in reality, I am just doing my job.

    Its tough with ID's, once you ask for an ID, you have made it clear that you aren't sure of the persons age. So if you don't get the confirmation that you need, you have to stand your ground.
    SadMachine likes this.
  19. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (870) New York Mar 21, 2010 Beer Trader

    Nice, someone details a thoughtful, rational post on a negative experience they had and in turn gets belittled by people on here. Sorry to hear your experience BA, ignore the trolls.
  20. AJ01923

    AJ01923 Advocate (625) Massachusetts Jan 1, 2013 Beer Trader

    I thought the same thing. Being a "young professional" validates that you should be treated differently? Sounds more like someone who's parents told them the frat boy antics should have been over in college.
    SadMachine likes this.
  21. Roguer

    Roguer Poobah (1,120) Connecticut Mar 25, 2013 Beer Trader

    This is one of the reasons I love BA. Great to see a thoughtful and caring post from the brewery. (Absolutely no sarcasm, just in case people expect snark from me.)

    However, appearances are very misleading at times. When I was 27, I was carded......for an explicit lyrics CD (minimum age: 16). The kid (KID; he was easily younger than I) was sure I was presenting a fake ID. I still consistently get carded. At 34, I could easily pass for under 21, without trying.

    Separately, to echo what a handful of people have said: MA has different ID laws, and this isn't the first I've heard of it. I'm not sure if that's what happened here; just worth noting.

    To the OP: sorry to hear of your troubles. I was initially going to personally choose to avoid Mystic Brewing, but after Bryan's response, they sound like cool folk, and you just had an unfortunately rude experience. People can be dirtwads; that's probably not news to anyone.

    (However, I will still continually be confused at the name Mystic Brewery, as I live 15 minutes away from Mystic, CT, and I can buy Mystic Bridge IPA on the shelves any day :D).
    SadMachine likes this.
  22. Roguer

    Roguer Poobah (1,120) Connecticut Mar 25, 2013 Beer Trader

    I don't buy that. There's nothing wrong with being in your 20s and having a career, and being proud of that. We've all been there; no need to read a douchebag agenda into his post. I think his point was that they didn't roll in off the street in jean shorts (jorts? Are those still a thing?) and Slayer t-shirts and expect to get taken seriously. :)
  23. Janeinma

    Janeinma Advocate (625) Massachusetts May 24, 2009 Beer Trader

    I find the story a little hard to believe. My own experience is that the people at mystic have always been friendly and polite. Even one day when we strolled in when they had their coats on they stopped chatted and served us beers.
    This may be true BUT the larger majority of people have found a great welcoming environment.
    As a brewery that does not concentrate on IPAs they will not get the love other breweries seem to gather but I enjoy the beers especially the saisons a lot.
    dealing with ID issues is always tricky but I cannot say enough good things about this brewery and everyone I have met there.
    If you have not gone yet and are not on the search for hoppy beers I would say visit Mystic.
    of course JMHO.
    cheers55 likes this.
  24. JrGtr

    JrGtr Savant (460) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006 Subscriber

    well, they are about 50 feet from the Mystic River...

    I've met the Mystic Brewing guys a bunch of times as well, and they are always nothing but nice and accommodating for a homebrewer who knows only enough to be dangerous.
    It's too bad the OP get rejected, but there are reasons for that - Mass has been stinging a lot of places lately - not long ago they got Wachusett Brewery, resulting in them losing the license to sell at their store for a year.
    I would think that any other brewery taproom would be extra vigilant after that, and if there's any remote question, play it safe and reject.
    SadMachine, FrankLloydMike and Roguer like this.
  25. Others have said it as well, but there is no requirement for any employee of a licensee to accept an out of state ID. The responsibility not only does it fall on the person that is IDing the individuals but also the owner(s). Unfortunately, even the real NY ID's look fake. I would suggest getting an in-state drivers license or you can always carry your passport.

    As far as stings go, any "official" sting cannot present a fake ID of any sort. Once the establishment has asked for ID, they have passed.
  26. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (390) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    Wow this thread really ballooned. Sucks that you had a bad experience but unfortunately (and as others have said) any establishment has the right to turn you away, especially with an out of state ID. If you live in MA I would definitely recommend getting a MA liquor ID, if not a drivers license, to avoid some hassle in the future
  27. I'm not sure why people keep using the "in MA any business can reject anyone" argument. In MA you can also call a customer a cunt, but that doesn't make it right.

    I don't think the OP is acting entitled at all, he's frustrated and embarrassed. People also need to not get so annoyed with the term "young professional" which is a totally okay thing to say. He was trying to explain in a succinct way that him and his friends are not a bunch of pimply faced teenagers.
    markgugs, shlauncha, Resuin and 3 others like this.
  28. emannths

    emannths Savant (445) Massachusetts Sep 21, 2007

    Isn't that what the "in our early to mid twenties" is for? Adding the "young professionals" is easily read as "I have a job and money and now you can't have any of it."

    Time for this thread to end. There are two lessons here: a valid out-of-state ID may get rejected, and customer-facing people should err on the side of being nice.
    halfshell likes this.
  29. Janeinma

    Janeinma Advocate (625) Massachusetts May 24, 2009 Beer Trader

    just an aside many years ago before I got my driving license I was at some beer fest in Boston and had a horrible time getting past security because I had a MA liquor ID, the security guy basically said I had to drive in order to drink. I think there may be others who have had similar experiences with the liquor ID weirdly enough it isn't law to accept it.
    and as to the point about staff should be nice I think some of us are saying we couldn't find anybody nicer and more pleasant than the folks at mystic.
  30. perhaps if they don't take out of state ID's they should note it on their website.

    can't blame the brewery, but damn if this thread doesn't show the negative side of this place.
  31. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Advocate (630) Pitcairn Feb 9, 2010


    Any story about ID's that starts off with "we're in our early to mid 20's"... :rolleyes:
  32. ncaudle

    ncaudle Advocate (700) Virginia May 28, 2010 Beer Trader

    I wonder what % of the US population actually has passports and what % of that group carries it around with them while traveling within the US...
  33. I think saying "early twenties" is just as fine as saying "young professionals," I think that wouldn't elicit a reaction in 9 out of 10 people. I'm getting the strong impression people are really projecting their own insecurities about their age in this thread.

    I do agree, this thread is a total fucking shit show and should be shut down.
    markgugs and sjverla like this.
  34. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,525) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member Fest Crew Subscriber Beer Trader

    This is only one side of the story, we are assuming this is exactly what happened because it is posted in a forum on the internet. I am sure most of it if not all could be true ... or not. Some people have thick skin and some don't. To slam either party from one post is careless.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.