Bad Bar Etiquette in New England

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by kvgomps, Dec 31, 2015.

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  1. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (472) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I was at Yardhouse a ways back and found DFH 90Min on tap. Ordered, expecting a 12oz pour tops, and get a full imperial pint. Took my time on that one, and the bartender still asked if I wanted another one. Decided I wanted to get home without a DUI arrest, so stopped at the one. As it was I took a walk around the shopping center before heading back to the car...

    I'm also curious as to what bar this was - I don't think I've ever seen that list of issues at any place. I may see one or another here and there, but not all together, and 99% of the time, the staff is willing to make it right. I don't think I've seen a place where they aren;t willing to get me a new beer, even if there;s nothing actually wrong with it; I just don't like it very much.
  2. Justin42

    Justin42 Aspirant (229) Apr 3, 2013 Massachusetts

    Without passing judgment on the OP, I find it humorous how many beers are claimed to have diacetly issues these days... It's the new "brewery X was better before they expanded"
    rocksteady726 likes this.
  3. kvgomps

    kvgomps Zealot (590) Feb 10, 2013 New Jersey

    Yeah I hear you on that one. The price was comparable but not the 8 oz part (most of them are 12-16 oz pours). Had I noticed the volume I wouldn't have ordered it in the first place. Just saw a new Bear Republic stout and figured it would be worth $14 for a pint to try it once.

    I guess I don't know that it is diacetyl. Just going off the smell and taste and that's the closest thing I've worked with that describes it. Incidentally I've only ever experienced that flavor with this beer and the Silva Stout. I guess it's a more common flavor profile/issue.
  4. HeyHayward

    HeyHayward Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2013 New York

    Given the explosion of new breweries over the past decade, I'm not at all surprised. It's not as if someone with even basic craft beer experience would easily confuse that taste.

    So no, it's not the new "brewery X was better before they expanded", it's a combination of product sitting on shelves/at bars too long, poor storage, bacterial infection and/or miscalculation in the brewing process.
  5. MaltheadWeirdo

    MaltheadWeirdo Initiate (60) Nov 18, 2015 Pennsylvania

    A local artisanal pizza place I'd been meaning to visit always has at least one top-shelf beer on tap. Lately I've seen on their website La Fin du Monde and Chimay, for example. When I finally went there a few weeks ago, I ordered a Mad Elf. The server asked if I wanted a pint or 22oz. Of course I chose the pint, even though I wasn't driving. I weigh 140 tops, so after a pint of Mad Elf with nothing but a thin-crust pizza, I was flying! The server didn't look old enough to drink, but you'd think the bartender would know what they're selling!
  6. cmurphycode

    cmurphycode Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2010 Massachusetts

    Honestly, stuff like this deserves its own discussion thread.

    It's happened to me a few times. Once, I got a 22oz pour of something 8 or 9%, can't remember what. It was after soccer and I pounded it down pretty quick. When there was a few ounces left in the glass, the server came by and asked if I wanted a refill- this was *maybe* 10 minutes after the glass was served. You definitely gotta be careful out there, I think a LOT of bars/servers haven't really caught on to how wide the range of beer ABV is, and what that means.
  7. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Defender (639) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    Seriously when you are talking a 10%+ beer, the server does not realize it is basically the same as pouring a pint or more of wine...
  8. guy-who-likes-beer

    guy-who-likes-beer Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2015 Massachusetts

    204-2.02: Price Lists
    (1) Hotels, Restaurants, Taverns and Clubs may keep posted in each room where any alcoholic beverages are sold a price list of such beverages. Wherever a price list is posted all sales of alcoholic beverages shall be made at the prices stated on the current posted price list.

    (2) No licensee shall print, post, publish or use any false or fictitious price list; nor shall any invoice given or accepted by any licensee contain any statement which falsely indicates prices, discounts, or terms of sale; nor shall there be inserted in any invoice given or accepted by any licensee any statement which makes the invoice a false record, wholly or in part, of the transaction represented therein; nor shall there be withheld from any invoice given or accepted by any licensee any statements which properly should be included therein, so that in the absence of such statements the invoice does not truly reflect the transaction involved.

    FYI any bar that charges you a different price from what is posted on their menu is violating the restrictions placed on their liquor license
    batch19, jhavs and fistfight like this.
  9. RKing44

    RKing44 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2012 Massachusetts

  10. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    As said before, vote with your wallet. Go someplace else, many options available. And talk to the manager, and maybe check out the yelp page.
  11. Jbrews

    Jbrews Disciple (350) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    Completely agree....

    You immediately go to the Manager. Any bar in the city should feel lucky that patrons come into their establishment given the amount of choices in a city, hell even a few blocks. The manager is the person responsible for that shift and the service given to the CUSTOMER. If you as a bar tender, waitress, waiter, etc can not do your job correctly then I will 100% go to the manager if it is warranted. If I fuck up my job in the office and it is warranted people will go to my manager. This is why I work hard to please my customers(everyone is a customer in some form, keep them happy, keep your job) I work very hard for my money and spend it when and where I want to. If I spend my money at your bar and you give me a shitty experience I will let it be known. It's not my fault you can not do your job. People need to be responsible for their actions. I don't care what your job is, just do your best to do it well. That way if you F up, it's probably nothing big and something we laugh about. Don't treat people shitty and lose customers. Customers keep you in business. Bars are really just disposable ideas in a building. But if you can create a great idea and bring in some awesome staff, people will call you a genius and keep coming back. Otherwise move aside for the next idea to re invent the space.

    I'm also ok with not naming the places in this thread so far. Hurting someones dream in a forum is never fun, the manager might not own the bar.
    #51 Jbrews, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  12. Pahn

    Pahn Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    what bar was it?
  13. MenardMa

    MenardMa Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut

    Sounds like the service was really bad and worthy of either a casual convo with a manager about it or just simply not going back...BUT, the thing with sending back that, I don't know man. A stout with LIME in it and you didnt expect it to be tart at all? Have you ever had a lime before? :wink:

    Torn on that one. It's nice when bars just dump a beer out and give you a free one if you happen to not like something you order but it's understandable for them not to do that on super pricey beers, IMO.
  14. Pahn

    Pahn Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    it's true, you could always ask about the beer beforehand if you're obsessive enough to look it up on your phone (like most of us).

    i mean, imagine if you ordered, i don't know, stuffed cabbage, and you were upset that it came with meat. "just said cabbage, why didn't you *tell* me it had meat in it?" well, stuffed cabbage often has meat in it. and two, you kind of should have known what the thing was before you ordered it if it's an issue, don't you think?

    *that said*, sounds like if he had asked, the waitstaff wouldn't have explained anyway. who knows. still, if you order blind, you can't send it back because it's not what you thought it would be.
  15. Justin42

    Justin42 Aspirant (229) Apr 3, 2013 Massachusetts

    I've ordered beers that I thought I'd like without asking about them or looking up on BA and just suck it up and live with my choice, even if it means drinking an English-style IPA (which I usually hate) when I was hoping for / expecting an east-coast IPA...
    Pahn, Ericness and MenardMa like this.
  16. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (358) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    You're not going to swing him on his third point about sending the beer back. I've been drinking in bars for 30 years and have never sent a beer back, but then again I've always paid attention to what I'm getting and if in doubt ask for a sample. If they aren't about giving samples then you've got two choices IMO. Don't try it, or suck it up if you decide to try it and don't like it. Sort of comes with the territory - got to take a little risk for the potential reward of a new beer you like.
  17. edallolie

    edallolie Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2015 Connecticut

    Its different if the beer isn't advertised correctly. Lime is not a usual stout flavor. I would expect a beer bar to note something like that. To use the example above, it would be like if you expected meat in your cabbage but got fish. I have sent back a Brett IPA that wasn't listed as such, and I will every time.
  18. Pahn

    Pahn Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    if you're at all in the know about beer, if you see a specialty stout advertised you'd be *surprised* if, like bell's 30th anniversary (which is awesome, btw), the stout showed up and it didn't have some twist to it. if you don't know, you should ask.
    DougC123 likes this.
  19. MenardMa

    MenardMa Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut

    Eh, if you're making assumptions about what you're ordering even though you've never had it or don't really know what it is, that's on you I'd say. Especially these days where brewers can and do add just about anything to their beers. If you're picky about certain styles or ingredients you should look up the beers before ordering them or ask about them. I don't expect all bars to give a detailed description on their board or menu all the time...I drink what I order. To each their own I suppose, but you could find out if an IPA you're not familiar with has brett in it extremely easily before ordering it.
    HeyHayward and DougC123 like this.
  20. edallolie

    edallolie Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2015 Connecticut

    Ordering an IPA and then expecting and IPA is making an assumption? I guess if all its says it cheeseburger, then I should be happy with any meat? It's not on me to find out. I shouldn't have to Google a beer to be confident its going to be drinkable to me, that's the point of a description. It's a whole new style of beer with the brett. The place should know the product they sell. Maybe I'm biased because I own a small wholesale company and people return anything for any reason but bottom line is the person spending the money should be satisfied. Some are tougher to satisfy, but thats customer service and if they have a problem with that then they're in the wrong business.
    sjverla likes this.
  21. kvgomps

    kvgomps Zealot (590) Feb 10, 2013 New Jersey

    Hey guys thanks for the points above. Some thoughts:

    I've had a couple of stouts with lime as an ingredient (granted not barreled but I can't imagine that would intensify the lime) and they were not sour. Also note the previous comment that on the website it lists black lime which is far more intense than "lime". Probably not the right audience for this but if you ordered a stir-fried tofu dish and they used fermented tofu, you'd call BS. Considering all of that I don't mind soured porters/stouts (Zwet.Be comes to mind) and like beers like Funk Metal and Tart of Darkness (not the same I know). The greater problem for me is that this tasted extremely sour (Upland-like) and like butter so it's not like I just didn't like this brew and wanted to send it back. You couldn't tell that it had spent time in any barrel and it had no roasted flavors.

    I realize this is an extreme but it falls on the same spectrum so I think it's worth mentioning. Say you've never had BCBW before but have heard good things about it and see it on a bar menu. You order it and get one of these allegedly infected bottles that tastes sour and has no barley wine character at all (not trying to turn this into a debate over whether this is real or into a commentary on GI/InBev). Do you just suck it up and drink it or do you ask to have it exchanged/replaced? Again this is an extreme but at what point is the customer right or given the benefit about knowing something is wrong with the beer? Dude wouldn't even smell it or try a taster of it when I asked him.

    Also realize I may have given the impression that I believe a bar not taking a beer back is bad etiquette. While I think this is a poor business practice, I'm actually undecided on the etiquette part which is largely the reason I started the thread. In fact, had the bartender just said "sorry man but it's our policy" as opposed to "I'll take it back but you're still paying for it" (which to me is decidedly bad etiquette), I may have never even posted to begin with despite the specific condition of this beer.
  22. BillG2330

    BillG2330 Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2014 Massachusetts

    Interesting. I frequent a place in my hometown that actually has "Ale House" in its name, with a decent tap/bottle list (Currently have Mayflower Imperial Stout, Be Hoppy, SN Celebration, Mad Elf on tap, a bunch of Jack's Abby and DFH bottles, have been known to get Lunch, and other good stuff from time to time), but the staff is woefully undereducated on beer - to point, Samuel Adams Cold Snap, a witbier, was described as a bock on the menu. The wait staff can rarely answer any questions about the beer, and some orders will earn you a quizzical look if it's something that just came on and they haven't gotten the rundown yet. They are also guilty of offering 22 oz. pours of everything they have available. The food is decent, not gourmet, but it's inexpensive, and at least everyone's friendly.
  23. frekky

    frekky Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2015 Massachusetts

    If a bar doesn't want people to bring their kids they should turn them away at the door, as is their right but if they don't , go somewhere else if it's a problem.
    If kids know how to behave in public it shouldn't be a problem. My neice & nephew (7 & 11) have never caused a problem as they behave well. A close friend, his kids are off the wall 24/7 and are a horror show anytime I have dined with them. They definitely shouldnt be allowed in bars or most restaurant's. It's more on the parents than the bar.
    FrankLloydMike, Ericness and RMoeNay like this.
  24. Sneex

    Sneex Initiate (40) Jul 25, 2014 Rhode Island

    Why not? I've been to kid-friendly biergartens in Brooklyn, and regularly take them to a friend's brewery. We go to pubs for dinner quite often. My daughters love ordering cranberry juice or root beer, and if I get to have a beer as a happy side effect, cool. As @frekky said, it's the parents and not the bar; as long as they're well-behaved, would you even notice they were there?
    RMoeNay and frekky like this.
  25. RKing44

    RKing44 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2012 Massachusetts

    This is all well and good but do you ever ask people to tone it down at the bar (swearing, stories etc..) because your kids are sitting there?
  26. RMoeNay

    RMoeNay Disciple (336) Sep 22, 2010 Connecticut

    I never have, but to be honest 99% of people at the beer bars and pubs I have been with my kids are friendly and considerate of others. I hardly hear people swearing just to swear. If it happens, my kids are too busy being occupied by a tablet or playing a quiet game with each other to notice. I also never sit near the actual bar and make sure I have a table that's outside or in a less congested area. Kids that are taught to be polite and not make noise just to make noise usually go unnoticed by most of the people enjoying their food and beer.
    Sneex, meefmoff, ChrisMyhre and 3 others like this.
  27. frekky

    frekky Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2015 Massachusetts

    I agree with @RMoeNay i wouldn't ask people at a bar to tone it down because my kid was there. It's my choice to expose my kid to that environment and what comes with it. We don't pony up to the bar and get rowdy when I've got my kid in tow. We sit at a table, goof around, and everyone enjoy's themselves. At worst my kid hops of the seat and wanders around, because he is 2.5, and as a parent it is my job to make sure he doesn't get in other people's way or disrupt their evening if I choose to let him 'wander' at a bar. Truth be told, most folks are more than happy to wave and chat up my kid because he is well behaved, they have a 1 minute interaction with him and go on with their night. It's pretty easy to pick up on social cues and know which folks don't want to be bothered by my crotch-fruit, and I get that.
  28. Jbrews

    Jbrews Disciple (350) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    Had our baby with us and another couple out at Bissel, Foundation and for a late lunch at Nosh up in Portland and she didn't make a peep. The people sitting at the table next to us at foundation had their baby also. There were plenty of people there and in the bar. When she woke up I fed her. If someone had a problem with it and gave me a dirty look or said something to me I'd have no problem telling them to F### off to their face and smile for them.

    The issue I had was being in line with a few kooks at Foundation who were discussing some website or thing they have and about "too many homos on it" and needing to add some better content and some racist stuff on it to stir shit up and a fight or two. Kinda made me feel sick. Made me almost want to leave, and I grew up exposed to that shit in and around the Hardcore scene in Boston during the 90s. I could not f'ng believe I was hearing it. Whatever, not my life or choices. To each their own I guess in this world.
    #68 Jbrews, Jan 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  29. dwmetsfan13

    dwmetsfan13 Initiate (166) Jul 22, 2013 Massachusetts

    Having a kid with me wouldn't really make me any less happy about having to listen to that, given where I'd already be sans child.
    DougC123 likes this.
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