I Like You, But Your Beer, Not So Much

Bad Beer Ed M Morris

By Editor In Chief/Lord Of Words Ed M Morris

Benches everywhere, but not a grill or cooler to be found

Recently I visited a brewery that I have been meaning to take a tour of, I am not going to name it because they are new and I don't want to lob some negative press their way until I can figure how to do something: tell them that their beer was not so good.

The brewery and tap room was immaculate, to the point where a Army Drill Instructor would inspect it and give it a GO! The staff were friendly, informative and most of all, welcoming.

So I after the tour and the great interaction with the staff, I was really looking forward to trying what they had to offer. I ordered a flight, so I could try a little of everything. The flight consisted of six, six ounce glasses, I took my time trying each one, so I could get a good taste of each.

Each had an almost waxy or soapy after taste, I could chalk that up to maybe things needed to be cleaned out, which surprised me after seeing how clean everything looked during the tour. Outside of the wax/soap taste, it just tasted off, like something was missing or cut back on during the brewing process. 

I wanted to talk to someone about it, but everyone there had a great vibe going and I didn't want to be the guy to bring things down. I could tell that the staff had invested themselves into the launch of the brewery and I did not want to be the guy to say there was a problem. 

I looked around to see if anyone else looked like they were not enjoying their beer, and while my fellow patrons looked happy to be there, I didn't see a whole lot of people with beer in front of them yet. So I couldn't use observation to validate what I was tasting. I finished up, paid my bill and left. 

I really want them to succeed, so I would like to find a way to approach them and let them know what I experienced, but in a non-jerky way that will provide them positive input. I don't want to use a social media site like Yelp or some of the beer rating apps out there. That just seems impersonal to me and not how I like to do things.

So I ask you, my fellow Templars, what would you do?


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  • ERIK on

    You and I are obviously concerned about beer when there is something wrong. Next time you get a chance to visit, grab a flight and ask the brewmaster for a couple minute sit-down and tell him what your tasting. See how he reacts. You will know right away if he cares.

  • Craig on

    Politly tell them you noticed a wierd aftertaste that you had never experienced before, and ask what it is from, (like you are interested, not critical). That will make them think about their process (whats he talking about?) If you are close to them, offer suguestions but do not criticize. I hope they will transform from a homebrewer (trying to make it) to a microbrewery than fail and give up.

  • Joe on

    If you can recall enough details, fill out a simple beer feedback form. It doesn’t have to be a BJCP scoresheet. Then, submit it anonymously if you prefer. Just tell them that you strongly support their success and hope they are around for a long time. In that spirit, you wanted to provide some honest and constructive criticism. Then sign it “rooting for you”

  • Paul on

    As a brewer, I always want to know if my beers are off to someone. It’s not like I am drinking all of my beers everyday, and there are so many variables to off flavors. Please tell them…It’s the only way we can get better at what we do. If they are standoffish about getting feedback, then they are in the wrong business and need to want to grow as brewers. My guess on the flavor being waxy or soapy is the wrong beer line cleaner or they don’t rinse their cleaner off their tank walls before sanitizing.

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