6 No No’s Of Craft Beer Service

Lord Hobo in Boston, MA

Lord Hobo in Boston, MA

With the rise of craft beer popularity, we’re seeing a multitude of craft beer bars popping up in cities across the country. While this development is exciting on so many levels, it also means that some bars and restaurants are just hopping on the trend, leaving a lot of room for mistakes. Because to some of these bars, it’s about the quantity of beer they sell, not the quality. Here are 6 common sins of craft beer service – things you do not want to see when you enter a craft beer bar.

1. Dirty Glassware

dirty beer glass

If you were dining at a restaurant, and you saw your fork had some crusted food on it from a previous customer, would you use it? Probably not. Drink residue, or worse, detergent residue, will affect the taste of your beer, and that’s just not cool.

2. Frosty Mugs

Frosty Beer MugAlmost as bad as dirty glassware, is chilled glassware. Although it looks kind of cool, a frozen mug will mask the true flavor of a good beer and will also cause over-foaming.

3. Dirty Beer Lines

Medium Duty Draft Beer Line Cleaning Pump

Medium Duty Draft Beer Line Cleaning Pump

Dirty beer lines are a cardinal sin of draft beer dispensing. They cause flat, sour beer, and often, excessive foaming. You’ll have yeast buildup, causing microbes and other particles to enter the beer as it’s dispensed. On average, beer lines should be cleaned every two weeks. Clean lines are a must.

4. Inaccurate Beer Boards

Craft Beer Chalkboard

Look, I know it’s tough to keep up with what’s on tap, especially when it’s busy, but why have the board if it’s not conveying accurate information? I’ll go to a bar, examine every option carefully, choose what I want, then ask for it, only to find they’re out of that. I’ll pick my second option, and that’s gone too. By the third, my fingers are crossed, but expectations are low.

5. Ignorant Bartenders

Jager Bomb Bartender

Image Courtesy of 5Chicago.com

When I go into a beer bar, I’m often hoping to try something new. I want to tell the bartender what I like and what I don’t like, and have him or her offer something suited to my tastes. I might ask questions about particular beers as well. If they can’t answer, why are they there? I have a lot of respect for bartenders. It’s a hard job. So, I expect them to take it as seriously as I do.

6. Warm Bottle Storage

Stacked Beer Cases

Refrigeration is key for bottled beer. Of course, you don’t want it too cold, but you definitely don’t want it warm either. This means, you can’t store cases in the back room if the temperature in that room exceeds 45 – 50 degrees F.

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