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Thread: Returning your drink

  1. #1
    Former Pubs Galore Coder
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    Default Returning your drink

    Another good post by Pete Brown today.

    Pete's Pub Etiquette: "This beer's off"

    I know AEM had a similar issue when he returned a beer during the Birmingham meet up.

    I have yet to return a beer, anyone else got similar irritations?

  2. #2
    This Space For Hire gillhalfpint's Avatar
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    If I find beer tastes strange I let Ray taste it before taking it back, might just be me not liking the flavour unless I know it tastes of TCP or suchloke.

    Bar staff usually taste and either replace (fine) or say this is how the brewer intends it .

    If I lost and had to keep the beer, I usually watch the pump for the next sale and their reaction, and often find a complaint being made so wander up to the bar with mine for exchange too. One of the perils of being a female real ale drinker - you don't get taken seriously.

    Must admit I rarely see the beer get taken off sale after a complaint has been made.

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    This Space For Hire arwkrite's Avatar
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    Thinking back over the years I have had to return a fair number of pints. I see no reason to feel awkward when doing it. When you buy something you expect to get the best , not something likely to make you ill or spoil your day. Just why Licencees have been tagged with the same name as second hand car dealers in this sort of thing I find it difficult to imagine. Very rarely have I ever been refused a replacement pint. Would you return to a pub that sold you bad beer ? It really is a silly attitude by any bar person to ignore a complaint of bad beer and could cost them dear when you and your mates get up and walk out.

    My advice is do not be timid in your approach. You are all experienced drinkers so you know a bad pint from a good one. When you complain be confident and say outright, " This pint is off".
    They want to argue the toss then cut your losses and walk out. If I know the pint is not as it shoud be no way will I drink it or put it on my chips.



    Arwkrite......... in a definitley dont mess with me or my pint mood.

  4. #4
    Please give generously Quinno's Avatar
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    I generally will take a beer back if I've bought a pint and it's bad (smelly, cloudy whatever) though I am always a little reluctant to do so straight away if it's one I'm not familiar with though. But usually it becomes clear pretty quickly.

    I don't tend to bother with halves unless it's known 'good pub' who will (or should) take a keen interest. If it's a chain bar or locally local, I tend to just take the hit on the half (unless it REALLY is appalling) and give it a low scores on NBSS as my revenge. Unless I've already had a few, in which case I get emboldened!

    Few of my non-CAMRA friends ever do though, unless I'm there and they get me to taste it and rely on my disgust on sipping to do it for them

    EDIT - AEM and RogerB will recall me taking beers back in Bath the other week, at the Salamander!
    Last edited by Quinno; 17-02-2011 at 12:38.

  5. #5
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    I've often taken drinks back too and generally people change them without question, though as has been said you might have something else but they carry on serving the same beer to others. Sometimes though if you get the right person there'll be a great deal of to-ing anf fro-ing and pulling through to attempt to get it right. Conversly once, about 30 years ago here me and my mate were told of the pints of malt vinegar supplied that 'no-one else has complained, if you don't like it you can f... off.' So we did. Looks like that pub hasn't changed much over the years, never been in since, though at least as there's no real ale now you won't be tempted to drink it.

  6. #6
    Real Ale Drinker Brewguru's Avatar
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    Not only took a beer back last night but managed to get the barrel changed - I witnessed the old one being taken out and a new one wheeled in!
    - see my review here
    Last edited by Brewguru; 17-02-2011 at 13:56. Reason: deleted unnecessary comment

  7. #7
    I'll stay on me own
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    I always take a beer back if it tastes off and the response is usually positive from a landlord and the beer is changed no problem, but when you get bar staff who dont know what they are doing thats when i have hit problems.
    I went in a pub called Deacons London EC4 and had a half of Bombadier the person who served me was'nt English when i had a drink it was far too warm so i asked him to pull some beer off he said no i car'nt do that but i can put some ice cubes in your drink if the landlord had been there i am sure he would have pulled some beer off.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al 10000 View Post
    I always take a beer back if it tastes off and the response is usually positive from a landlord and the beer is changed no problem, but when you get bar staff who dont know what they are doing thats when i have hit problems.
    I went in a pub called Deacons London EC4 and had a half of Bombadier the person who served me was'nt English when i had a drink it was far too warm so i asked him to pull some beer off he said no i car'nt do that but i can put some ice cubes in your drink if the landlord had been there i am sure he would have pulled some beer off.
    A warm pint can be difficult. 4pm on a hot weekday afternoon in a quiet pub can be very hit and miss, they might not have sold anything for a couple of hours, beer sitting in the pump and pipes at about 35C all that time. The other danger is the 'first one out' - that 11am sharpener will fail to hit the spot if it's been hanging around for 12 hours because they're too tight or too lazy to pull any through. Except in some Wetherspoons where the first several dozen out will have been take care of by the 9AM brigade.

  9. #9
    Get some gravy on it. Maldenman's Avatar
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    If I get what I take to be a bad pint, either cloudy, off, containing line cleaner etc I will generally return it, the exception being when I know full well that there is no chance of anything better. Then I either put up with it or leave it. Generally if the beer is cloudy I will ask it to be changed there and then, although any self respecting landlord/barman should notice anyway. Besides at that point you generally haven't parted with your cash yet so if you get a negative response its time for an about turn.

    If you bought a sandwich say from a shop and it was mouldy or smelled off you would return it without question. I don't see a difference.

  10. #10
    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    I almost always take a poor beer back but do so in a slightly apologetic fashion ("I'm sorry but I don't think this one's quite right..."). I think that can get the staff a little on your side rather than risking a too brusque "This beer's off...".
    It helps the argument if the beer looks cloudy - even an unknowledgeable bar person should be able to identify something wrong by appearance alone (wheat beers aside).
    Like Quinno, I have pals who might seek my (unqualified) opinion before returning their own beer, but they do at least do so these days - an improved attitude I like to think I've helped instill.
    So why didn't I hand back that cloudy Oakham Citra at St Albans Mermaid yesterday? I gave the barman the benefit of doubt as he did at least warn in advance that it was 'coming up hazy'. Tasted kinda ok at the start but, by the end, I'd have been better changing it. I did change a half at Lower Red Lion, given another taste of same then changed for another beer with good grace.
    If in a pub first knockings, I do like to see beer pulled through, then your pint pulled - always a good sign, and best practice for each line.

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