Employee attitudes at beer stores

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mcdonaldlockport, May 22, 2015.

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  1. hophugger

    hophugger Poo-Bah (2,448) Mar 5, 2014 Virginia
    Society

    I find that it is more " not being knowledgeable enough" that being rude or crass
     
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  2. Plissken

    Plissken Initiate (159) Jun 3, 2013 Massachusetts

    as in every other walk of life, you're gonna have your assholes. but generally the decent people will shine through.
     
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  3. PA-Michigander

    PA-Michigander Poo-Bah (1,783) Nov 10, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    This is spot on. It cracks me up, to be honest. The amount of times I've been called a minimum wage lackey is great.
     
  4. SouthSideSox24

    SouthSideSox24 Initiate (0) May 20, 2013 Illinois

    Maybe it's because you are only going there on the day they are getting a specific shipment, asking only about that specific beer which, in your own words, is very sought after? I could see this rubbing some establishments the wrong way. Especially because I have to assume you are referring to zombie dust based on your location. I know a lot of places in Illinois hate the Three Floyds chasers.
     
  5. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,434) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Wow....just wow...
     
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  6. 4truth

    4truth Aspirant (237) Jan 30, 2015 Illinois
    Trader

    If why we're here and why we drink what we do is about enjoying and sharing the love for great beer - and I'd argue those are the reasons - then literally share your beer with the guys/gals who go to bat for you. Nothing wrong with bringing a fresh out-of-distro DIPA from your last trade to your local proprietor...in fact, it might even bring a smile to your face!

    I'd argue that the customer service and beer knowledge here in CHI is among the best in the country (maybe I just frequent the right places:slight_smile:), which meshes very nicely with the spectacular brewing that is happening here. I can't remember ever really getting attitude at shops in other parts of the country...in fact, most experiences have guided me to beers I wasn't even looking for that I now seek out regularly. Guess I'm just lucky.
     
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  7. lester619

    lester619 Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2009 Wisconsin

    I can live with a certain amount of ignorance about the product. I don't expect a 20 year old kid Making eight bucks an hour to be as knowledgeable and passionate as the BA's on here. All I ask is the basic amount of respect and customer service I would expect if I was buying anything. The guy described in the post is just a douchebag in general. I'm not sure why there seems to be more of them when it comes to beer.
     
    #167 lester619, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  8. EyePeeAyBryan

    EyePeeAyBryan Crusader (726) Dec 20, 2011 Arizona
    Trader

    Unfortunately I don't remember which location I visited in Mass but I had insanely good customer service at this place as well. They had a Rep from Wachusett in house doing tastings, we got a bunch of free brewery stuff and my GF and I spent well over $100. I was happy to spend the money in this place, more than I know I would have spent if the service hadn't have been so good.
     
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  9. bostonwolf

    bostonwolf Initiate (127) Jan 20, 2015 Massachusetts

    Doesn't surprise me, they have their act together. I just haven't been to any of their other stores, so I can't speak from first hand experience as I can at the Belmont location (aka The Mothership)
     
  10. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,393) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    I joined in an August a while back and only then did I begin reading about this "KBS" thing that was apparently really good, but I failed to learn in my reading that this was in fact not only a limited release but one that happened on March. So I went down the local TW and inquired about it. Fellow could have treated me with similar face palming and blow me off, but he didn't. He explained in a very polite manner when that particular beer is released and how quickly it moves. He then showed me to a few RIS selections that I may enjoy. That's how the particular TW I go to has always been - very good at customer service. Some of the associates may not have vast knowledge, turnover being what it is, but it is obvious that they stress to all associates how important it is to treat customers with respect.
     
  11. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,393) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    You are wrong sir. A barrel aged thermostat almost always tastes like crap.
     
  12. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,057) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    Is the joint in question in Park Slope?
     
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  13. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,057) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    Maybe you could operate like this in NYC, though it would be pretty damn inconvenient once you'd exhausted your local options. But does anywhere in AZ have enough restaurants to truly operate in this manner without severely hamstringing yourself?

    And I'm curious - what constitutes an "I'm never coming back" level of error? Are we talking something legitimately horrendous, or would, say, a very slightly overcooked piece of fish (with appropriate action taken by the staff to correct) be enough to warrant this reaction? Do you have any real-life examples that you could share?

    If I have had 19 truly excellent meals at a restaurant, then it's going to have to be a monumental f**k up at meal 20 that would stop me ever returning.
     
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  14. Zimbo

    Zimbo Savant (956) Aug 7, 2010 Scotland

    Love the guys in my two favourite beer shops in Edinburgh. Friendly, helpful and they know their stuff. A pleasure to be in their shops.
     
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  15. papat444

    papat444 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2006 Canada (QC)

    Sounds like the hoarders found jobs :grimacing:
     
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  16. bcp5296d

    bcp5296d Devotee (436) Aug 7, 2012 North Carolina

    I'll preface my comment by saying that in general, I've found some people in the northeast and florida to be some of the least personal people I've ever come across. I know this isn't the case all around, but I can see why this may be a little biased overall.
    That said, I've noticed the same thing recently in NC. Its caused me to stop going to about half the bottle shops I used to. I think the sheer growth of the market is partially to blame, but when it comes down to it, it could be a combo of several things. The first that come to mind are competition among bottle shops for allocations, and the attitude of some beer hunters that owners just get fed up with. I had to convince a guy to give me a sample of prairie Elizabeth the other day, and he was saying that the keg was too expensive to give samples of, but poured me one anyway. They turned down my buddies for the samples. The guy was pretty much just rude overall. I think a lot of this comes down to uneducated employees as well. Now that I think about it, it could be that no one was buying the beer after they try it, as there are zero apricot notes in this last batch. Either way, I think they just get stressed out and annoyed and end up taking it out on the next person to walk in the door.

    Also, OP, there was no excuse for what happened to you. Its one thing to try to change a customers mind and have them buy something else, its another to lie about it entirely. I see people lying about their allocations here as well and its frustrating.
     
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  17. nickmantia

    nickmantia Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2011 Massachusetts

    I have a similar response for the local beer store I visit. I walk in, the owner greets me by name. The selection is great and the staff is courteous. If there's something I'm looking for that they don't have, they gladly will order it if they can get it. Sometimes I'll ask for a recommendation when I'm looking for something new. They will also let me know when there's a limited amount of something special. I frequent this place several times a week and have for years. This isn't the same for all beer stores in MA, but when you find a good one, it's worth coming back and bringing repeated business.
     
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  18. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,902) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona
    Society

    I was being facetious about finding a place you like and then don't go there (because you don't want to spoil a good thing).

    Never coming back... Recent case - not too busy, placed order, several people arrived after that point, placed their orders, then got their food, and yet our server and are food are nowhere to be found. Finally get another server to say hey what's up and then told it's no big deal, probably be out any second. Good ten minutes later nothing. Those other tables I mentioned finished eating and were paying. And then our server says he forgot to enter our order and it would be rushed. Food came out under cooked, some cool to the touch. Only received a very quick and disingenuous sounding apology as he dropped check on table and walked away. This wasn't some leisurely steakhouse either. Found out he never notified management about his error, and management didn't comp it or anything when I brought it to their attention. Didn't care. I was civil about the complaining too. For me this is one strike you're out, given that it was both server and mgmt.

    Another example. German themed place had 1L steins. In the past I had ordered and received doppelbocks in 1L steins. On current visit I ordered a Salvator in the 1L and out of nowhere I was sort of lectured that they're not some drunkfest beer place where you can just go to get hammered. First I was shocked, as German places with 1L steins routinely serve 6-7% beers in those steins if they have them. Second I politely explained I received them before and in fact the other doppelbocks in the past were actually higher alcohol. Third, I asked if I could order two consecutive .5L steins (answer was yes). No matter how polite I was the bartender remained snooty and defensive. I actually gave them a couple more tries after that and received varying degrees of bad service (empty glass for a long time, server disappearing for long periods of time, etc.) Cumulatively that's it. I'm done with them.

    One more. Ordered pizza to go from pizza/beer place. Told 45 mins. Showed up about 50 mins. Staff spoke among each other for a few moments. Then I was told that my pizza was never made. I asked how long to make it. Then told "well, the people who just sat down and ordering will have their pizzas made first". I had to actually explain that I was a customer 50 minutes ago, and yet the staff defended what was just said. There was a queue of pizzas to be made and mine was to be placed at the end of that list. Manager too. It was as if they were stuck in this "back up your staff no matter what" policy.
     
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  19. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,057) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    oh - haha - yeah the humour completely flew over my head. I'll have to chalk that down to it being the day after memorial day

    Yeah in all those examples I'd be very unlikely to go back for a repeat visit as well. But for a place to behave like that would mean they couldn't have been that great to begin with
     
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  20. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,902) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona
    Society

    in touristy areas you don't necessarily need as many repeat customers. You can get away with a lot more. Location accounts for a lot.
     
  21. TheCuriograph

    TheCuriograph Disciple (324) Apr 1, 2013 New York
    Trader

    It is - ahem - and not too far from Union St.
     
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  22. Sound_Explorer

    Sound_Explorer Poo-Bah (2,010) Dec 29, 2013 Washington
    Society

    Thankfully (knock on wood) I haven't run into snobby beer store employees. Sucks some of you are getting attitude out there.
     
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  23. SgtBuhler

    SgtBuhler Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2014 Texas

    I work at a retail bottle shop/bar and the most annoying thing in the world is when I have a guest come in and sample all 18 beers on tap, then ask for more samples, then ask me for a recommendation, then order a wine instead when I have a growing line of guests that know what they want and understand what "beer tastes like" ...cracks me up. A pale ale tastes like a pale ale people! order one and try it!!!! This is why I am short with some people and can come off as an asshole. Or I get the "beer guy" guest that wants to chat and drop knowledge on me like I'm an idiot...hey name dropper, go somewhere else...no one cares that you had the brewmaster from jester king sign your empty beer bottle and you know what the Ph level of the city water in Cologne, Germany. Good.For.You. Go bother someone else.
     
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  24. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,057) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    I'm a fan as well. The growler/tap options are unique, and growlers are very fairly priced. Food is great. Yes bottles to go are a bit expensive, but it's not the type of place you go to buy a case of SNPA. And I've always found the guys friendly too.
     
  25. mcdonaldlockport

    mcdonaldlockport Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2015 New York

    "sample all 18 beers on tap"

    is that free ? is this normal ? could/can I do this at a normal place that has a large selection ?
     
  26. mcdonaldlockport

    mcdonaldlockport Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2015 New York

    interesting, do you think the lack of knowledge might come off as attitude ?
     
  27. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,528) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    My favorite store is top shelf; however, they were a bit subdued when speaking on why one of their main beer guys was no longer employed. I made it clear that it would have no impact on my allegiance, yet they seem really tight-lipped on providing details on the store he now represents. I get it, I appreciate it, but pleeeeeeassse. I won't jump ship over a person; I will jump ship over selection. Relaxxxxxxxxxx.
     
  28. PA-Michigander

    PA-Michigander Poo-Bah (1,783) Nov 10, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    It's pretty commonplace for businesses to not talk about ex-employees, why the left, where they are, etc.
     
  29. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,528) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Believe me, I understand. Unless it was for disciplinary reasons, it comes off as pretty insecure.
     
  30. BrewMan13

    BrewMan13 Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2004 New York

    I buy pretty much all of my beer from one place, so they know me well. In the last couple years it seems like they've hired more knowledgeable staff, and never encountered anyone with an attitude. Once, an employee was helping another customer and asked me to help give a recommendation (was for a hefeweizen since their usual was out of stock; went with Weihenstephaner obviously).
     
  31. beernazi

    beernazi Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2012 California

    if people act rude to me, i am right rude back, definitely not scared to tell someone to fuck off if they are being a dick, and i obviously wont return
     
  32. hophugger

    hophugger Poo-Bah (2,448) Mar 5, 2014 Virginia
    Society

    Probably more than you think. I think that some employees become frustrated when they do not have an answer. I am not an expert at beer, but employees should be honest if they do not know about a product and/or style and try to find the info from others....
     
  33. nbrio85

    nbrio85 Initiate (0) Apr 18, 2015 Missouri

    Ive experienced a lot of beer ignorance, but luckily I found a liquor store that has been around for a long time and the owner/employees have a great knowledge of their products. And although it isn't the end all be all store they are always willing to give plenty of advice, that of which I can take to other stores with different beer selections on different runs and make better decisions. Perhaps try to find a local liquor store with private ownership, often times they know about what they are selling.
     
  34. Eddiehop

    Eddiehop Defender (647) Jun 28, 2014 Texas
    Trader

    If I get attitude, I simply don't continue to go to that store. Competition is too great to allow the assholes/jerks to stay in business. They're sure as hell not getting my $$ for an overpriced bomber or barrel aged ______ .....
     
  35. JDizzle

    JDizzle Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2010 Indiana

    Example: went into a liquor store tonight and noticed they had a six pack of the new ruination 2.0. Cashier says great beer, and I ask if he'd had it and he said yeah that's super old have you not had it? I explained to him that it's a whole new recipe and that they retired the old ruination. He shook his head no and said it's the same beer. I told him it's just like the pale ale 2.0, it's a different recipe altogether. I explained to him that it's a whole new recipe and that they retired the old ruination. He shook his head no and said it's the same beer. He continued to be an asswipe and said it taste exactly the same as the old one. I would've gone somewhere else and bought it but I was out of town and didn't know the area. By the way, it's unreal!! Cheers!
     
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  36. HurrahBeer

    HurrahBeer Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2015 England

    I'm sure there are annoyances that go both ways, simply due to the fact that neither the customer nor the employee knows the other's level of "expertise". That being said, as an employee, you must always remain composed and client focused. I can understand getting frustrated with a pasty old white guy giving you attitude, but at the end of the day, I think it's important to be mindful that you are at work and one of your primary concerns is customer service - no one said it was easy.
     
  37. TheCuriograph

    TheCuriograph Disciple (324) Apr 1, 2013 New York
    Trader

    My sentiments exactly. I mostly get growlers, but if I see an interesting bottle I'll pay the extra couple bucks. Just not all the time. The neighborhood has so many great beer options, though, I can see how it would be an easy choice to swear it off if you have one bad experience. I'll keep dropping by regularly, as long as those any of those guys are working there.
     
  38. Chcshammonde

    Chcshammonde Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2014 California

    Sad to hear of the bad experiences. My business is based on top-notch customer service so I tend to patronize businesses that have the same philosophy. That said, the places that i go to get my beer have been pretty good. Whole Foods San Jose is great; the beer staffers like what they do and always chip in advice when asked. One guy even told me they had Pliny one day, and I didn't ask. I picked up 3, thank you very much! Cask N Flask has an impressive selection, and the owner and staffers are generally really nice. Though I hear they sometimes resell special releases and jack up the price. Happened to me and I was pissed at first - until my friend who is literally 'beer yoda' said he couldn't find the bottle I bought anywhere. So I'm happy because I scored one, and the owner actually took my request for it originally and called me when they got it, and set it aside for me. Bevmo differs by location. Some locations I have not been happy with. Doesn't matter anyhow, because whole foods and other spots are completely outshining Bevmo on selection now.
     
  39. brewskifan55

    brewskifan55 Initiate (0) May 17, 2011 Mississippi

    There's a new beer store in the Jackson, MS area (LD's Beer Run) that epitomizes the beer store rules: know your products, know your customers. The 2 owners are always there; they're beer geeks and love to help newbies out. LD's has only been open for 6 months, but people flock there. Why? Everyone, and I mean everyone, is treated with respect, no matter how much or how little they know about beer. Larry and Dylan (LD) are old school beer cool. They have a vast following, from the local homebrew club all the way to the blue collar worker who wants to get his "40" on. People drop by and they stay for a while, to sample one of the new growler selections or to get advice on stepping into the world of craft. Plus they have the lowest prices in town. LD's is the kind of beer store people dream about but never expect to find.
     
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  40. Hayden34

    Hayden34 Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2014 Georgia

    Must be a Southern hospitality thing, but I've noticed the people working at the local bottle shops are always extremely friendly and helpful.
     
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