Sh*t Bartenders Do (But Shouldn’t), Pt. 2

1. Give a knowledgeable customer a hard time about returning a beer. It slays me how waiters will take back hundred dollar bottles of wine without comment, but tell some bartenders that a $6 beer is skunked or oxidized or riddled with diacetyl and you’re in for the fight of your life. Key words: “I know this beer and it’s really not supposed to taste like this.”

2. Pour a draught to overflowing and then set it down in front of the customer without a coaster or cocktail napkin (or three). My shirt may not be fancy, but it’s usually clean and I like to keep it that way.

3. Ignore a customer who just sat at your bar so that you can finish chatting with the waiter at the service bar. Gaz Regan calls it “mindful bartending,” and the man has a point. Pay attention, and if you can’t get to someone right away, at the very least make eye contact.

4. Garnish a beer without asking first. I know that some places like putting lemon wedges on hefeweizens and orange slices on Belgian-style wheats, but that doesn’t mean every customer wants it. Particularly when fulfilling at order at the bar, it takes no time at all to ask if i want fruit or not.

5. Serve a bottle of beer and then walk away without even asking if the customer might like a glass. Because, you know, not everyone wants to swig from the bottle all the time. Or ever.

6 Replies to “Sh*t Bartenders Do (But Shouldn’t), Pt. 2”

  1. #1 – I stopped going to Henry House in Halifax after one of these. The staff actually used the phrase “I wish the brewer was here so he could tell you about it.” I wish he was here too, so he could see the condition of the beer you are serving. Also fun was “I’ve been drinking it all night and I think its fine.” Well then you’re an idiot who likes green overly yeasty casks. Sigh. Not that I’m still bitter…lol.

  2. Great points. Here’s another one that irks me: After asking for another beer, I hate it when bartenders take your used beer glass and fill it with a new beer. Call me wasteful, but I like a clean glass with each beer, especially when I order something different. And what’s 10 times worse than that is when they dip the tap’s spigot in the glass of beer as it’s being filled. So wrong on so many levels.

  3. Carrying on from #1 bar staff in wannabe “British” pubs shouldn’t tell a customer that the beer which is dribbling from the nitro tap, is “how beer is poured in Scotland”. Especially not when said customer is Scottish.

  4. #4 I once received a pint of DFH Punkin with a rim covered in brown sugar. It wasn’t bad, actually, but I would think you HAVE to ask before doing that, right?

    #5 At the same chain, actually (which also happened to be cited as one of the best chains in my state by Draft), I was served a bottle that was capped and corked, with neither removed. Unbelievable.

  5. #2 is an absolute killer- it’s like they think it’s normal to serve beer this way. It is, however, prevelant in England and shows no signs of abating.

    #5 This one is outright ignorance. Excuse given one time by a barman: “Everyone drinks from the bottle, so why shouldn’t you?” Oh god. Let me just grab my coat…

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