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New Brookline Beer Bar - Hops n' Scotch?

Discussion in 'New England' started by Prufrock, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Between that and the labeling of Chimay and Golden Monkey as "lagers", it's pretty clear that this place isn't being run by beer geeks. That's ok, but I really wish that places who are just trying to ride the wave of craft popularity would at least make some effort to do the basics correctly.
  2. jaasen64

    jaasen64 Advocate (505) Massachusetts Jan 15, 2012 Verified

    Sounds like the time I went to The Lower Depths. They charged me $10 for a Harpoon from a cask and then charged me $6 for their house pale ale collaboration with Wormtown in which it was completely flat and had lost all it's hop flavor. I absolutely refuse to go back there again.
  3. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Advocate (645) Massachusetts Dec 4, 2004 Verified

    You've never been charged $10 for a beer at Redbones? When was the last time you were there? Their casks are definitely that pricey on occasion, if not some other beers on the menu, typically one of the imports.
  4. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (435) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012 Subscriber

    At the Armsby Abbey\Hill Farmstead dinner Shaun Hill said one of the reasons he likes working with Alex is his staff is knowledgeable about craft beer and they know how it should be served and paired. If you build it...they will come.
  5. mmcgrath

    mmcgrath Savant (315) Massachusetts Mar 3, 2003 Subscriber

    this right here is why beer geeks get a bad rap. ask for a snifter or wine glass and move on with your exceedingly well-priced libation that you promise never to buy again.
  6. I haven't even been yet and that's the last straw for me. I won't willingly give a place a first chance if it's clear they're too lazy to get a few of the basics down.
  7. I did. I was very polite and kindly requested a different glass, and she happily obliged.

    The point is if you're going to serve those types of beers, like jbertsch said, get the basics down, train your staff, etc.
  8. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (435) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012 Subscriber

    Do we not give them a certain amount of time as they just opened to get their staff sorted out yet?
  9. Sure, fair enough. Perhaps I'm jumping the gun. Every restaurant needs a bit of time to work out the kinks, I suppose.
    FrankLloydMike and brucedodds like this.
  10. benbking

    benbking Savant (390) Massachusetts Dec 11, 2009 Verified

    I was at Redbones in June. This is not to say they don't have $10 beers on the menu. But You can get a beer for less than $10 at Redbones, drafts even.
  11. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (435) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012 Subscriber

    So I figure I put the two complaints on their Facebook page, the pint glass and classification issue, and asked if their staff was going through any beer training, their response:

  12. And with that FB post I think we can close this thread.
    jomobono likes this.
  13. Ugh, that is hardly heartening. Maybe you should go easy on your 125 whiskey's if it's going to take 6 months to train your staff in them. Additionally, staff turnover does actually happen.

    Quantity ≠ quality.
  14. That was a pretty awful response to two pieces of low-hanging fruit. There are two super easy solutions here...

    1 - When you add a new beer to the menu, take 10 seconds to look it up on Beer Advocate to find out the appropriate style. They could have easily banged out that initial list correctly in an hour or two.

    2 - Just stock a bunch of generic tulips and tell servers to use a tulip instead of a pint glass for anything over 7-8% ABV. Servers should be aware of beer strength anyway for legal reasons, and while a Rochefort in a tulip may not be the perfect vessel, it sure beats a pint glass.
    gdkersey and callmescraps like this.
  15. I totally agree, which makes it worse. You are training them on 125 whiskey's but can't take a second to tell folks to serve bigger beers in "fancy" glassware? You can't bother to check to see what type of beer you are serving?

    Look, the servers don't need to be experts (I'd prefer if they were). But the response to these problems should be "try harder" and not "dumb down the menu". So you'll serve me lesser product (by your own admission) because you can't be bothered? Well, neither can I.
  16. pjl44

    pjl44 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Oct 3, 2008

    Cask of what? I've been going there for a decade and have never been charged that much for a pint of cask.
  17. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Advocate (645) Massachusetts Dec 4, 2004 Verified

    I believe the last pricey cask I saw there was Vampire Slayer. But I didn't order it, my buddy did. I stopped ordering cask there awhile ago. Heady Topper was most certainly $10, and Schlenkerla Helles was $9 for a pint recently. You can go any week though and find a draft for $9 on their menu. And they're cheaper than Foundry/Saloon across the street and Five Horse.
  18. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (435) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012 Subscriber

    Since they are not too far away from Publick House, I wonder if it would have been better to start on the beer training which will not take 6 months.
    callmescraps likes this.
  19. I responded to their FB excuse as well. It's too bad, as I was planning on going here with some friends over the weekend. The fact that they are openly admitting to dumbing down their list instead of training earlier is a slap in the face to the consumer. I will however check in on it in the future to see if any improvements have been made, as the more better beer bars in Boston the better.
  20. I was reading reviews for places near Wells, ME when I was on vacation - and noticed some new to craft type being dissapointed in getting a stone IPA served in a pint glass and not a fancy snifter or tulip. <Sigh> what have we become...?
  21. You mean besides the obvious things rushed service, undercooked beans, flavorless meat, fermenting salsa, and water filled burritos right?
  22. Well they obviously thought it was wiser to leave the selections up to a distributor. :)
  23. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (435) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012 Subscriber

    OK now is your chance, what do you want to see them carry?
  24. kinopio

    kinopio Savant (420) Massachusetts Apr 30, 2009

    My advice to them is to have a cask line or two and use them often. And try to get seasonals/one offs from the good local breweries like Jacks Abby, CBC, Smuttynose etc. And since they are focused on liquor maybe do a beer cocktail menu.
    FrankLloydMike likes this.
  25. wdarcy77

    wdarcy77 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Nov 27, 2008

    Wow, nice to see they're receptive to customer concerns. I don't expect a lot when I go out for a beer. Decent pour, proper-ish glass, clean draft line. I'm in Coolidge Corner often and welcome $6 pints.

    I'll return to H&S for sure. Can't see the expanded focus on scotch and bourbon really being their cash cow though.
    FrankLloydMike likes this.
  26. benbking

    benbking Savant (390) Massachusetts Dec 11, 2009 Verified

    you must have had a bad experience but we'll have to take this over to BurritoAdvocate.
  27. PaulB

    PaulB Savant (255) Massachusetts Sep 3, 2002 Verified

    I expect so much more from a business with "N" in its name...now its just "N Scotch" to me.

    Blanket night better still be on
    wdarcy77 likes this.
  28. jomobono

    jomobono Savant (435) Massachusetts Mar 12, 2012 Subscriber

    Yeah, I told them two easy things you can do: Get Jack's Abby HU and a seasonal Pretty Things on draft.
    FrankLloydMike likes this.
  29. Hoponius Union should be a standard tap at every bar in the Boston area.
    BumpkinBrewer and jomobono like this.
  30. mmcgrath

    mmcgrath Savant (315) Massachusetts Mar 3, 2003 Subscriber

    Dude, n*sync had it all together!!
  31. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Savant (350) Oregon Jun 3, 2005

    Why don't all you guys complaining about glassware head over to Meadhall and get like 2oz of beer for $15, served correctly.

    Boston/Cambridge seems like it's really starting to lag behind the rest of the country with quality beer bars.
  32. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Advocate (645) Massachusetts Dec 4, 2004 Verified

    I'd be hesitant to just toss cask into the mix. It doesn't like these guys are beer experts, and cask needs to be handled by someone who knows what they're doing. We don't need another bar in the Boston area that thinks cask is a gimmick and has no clue how to pour a proper cask.
    braineater likes this.
  33. Sesmu

    Sesmu Savant (360) Massachusetts Feb 28, 2007 Verified

    Has anyone been there recently? Any upgrades/improvements... to everything? How are their whiskey prices?
  34. Who cares what a professional critic says. Is blanket night still ongoing? :eek:)
    mmcgrath likes this.
  35. Sesmu

    Sesmu Savant (360) Massachusetts Feb 28, 2007 Verified