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Old 08-31-2010, 09:00 PM   #1
ArtVandelay
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Default Dirty beer lines at bars

How many of you guys run into beers infected by dirty beer lines at bars? I feel like I've recently run into a high percentage of infected tap beer at bars and its getting annoying. I don't always know exactly what the off flavor is I'm often a bit buzzed but I know its off and sometimes can't even drink it.

So far in the past two months its been two pints of New Castle (although I may just hate that beer), one IPA (never had this one so it might just be bad), and one Arrogant bastard that I've had a thousand times and never been so disapointed.

What do you guys do? do you send it back? I feel too snobbish and end up just choking it down. And how could I return an arrogant bastard even if its infected? they'll just think I don't like it because it is bitter

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:04 PM   #2
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Send it back. If it's off they shouldn't be serving it.

some places are notoriusly bad about line maintenance.

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
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If this happens to me again when I'm sober I'll send it back. I guess this is what I get for ordering an arrogant bastard at some podunk town in Northern Wisconsin that probably has it ordered once a week max.

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:41 PM   #4
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I work for an insurance company and we had a claim where a patron was served a beer after the bar cleaned the lines. It turns out the tap was never disabled, the lines were actively being cleaned and the bartender ended up serving a good amount of cleaner through the line. A lot of money was paid out and the patron had serious health problems due to ingesting the cleaner. The moral of the story is any time you are served food or drink that doesn't seem right, send it back and either ask for something else or stop frequenting that establishment.

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:47 PM   #5
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Dirty lines are bad news. Think how the kitchen must look if they can't even keep their beer lines clean.

On a related topic, I was at Higher Ground in Burlington, VT last fall to see the Black Crowes, and I ordered a SNPA from the tap. What I got was a Magic Hat #9 (yuck). So I told the bartender who insisted that I was wrong, even though he poured me another (I watched him pull it from the SNPA tap). Same thing...effing gross apricot beer. So I choked it down and switched to SN bottles.

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:54 PM   #6
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Last week, I sent a rusty Guinness back for dirty lines and the bartender said to one of the waitresses: 'what's he trying to prove?'...incidentally this was the same place that had 'Victory' on the menu, I asked which kind and was told 'beer' I asked which kind again, and never could get the answer. Wound up with a Guinness, which I sent back...and taking my business elsewhere. NO TIP either. When I go to a place that has dirty lines, I send it back...always...I know what a damned Sam Adams is supposed to taste like! If they treat me with respect, it's usually the start of a great bartender-beerdrinker relationship.

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:58 PM   #7
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In this area the distributor company is responsible for The taps and etc.
At least any distributor that I know of here.

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
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At 6 bucks a pint damn right I'm sending it back. If I'm at a place with a manager I also ask to speak with them. I take the time to explane what I think is the problem. Most ask me how I know this which I tell them that I've been brewing for 20 years and I worked in a resturant for 5 years and have cleaned. 1000s of beer lines. I've even taken the time to show them their dirty lines. Got a free meal for that one.

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtVandelay View Post

What do you guys do? do you send it back? I feel too snobbish and end up just choking it down.
Absolutely send it back. Would you choke down a sandwich on moldy bread if they served it to you? Whether it's ignorance, laziness or cheapness they're just going to keep serving it that way if customers don't complain. Good beer has come a long way in the last few decades but unfortunately there are still a lot of bozos in the service business who just don't have a clue.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:37 PM   #10
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The Olive Garden seems terrible for it. Multiple times, at multiple restaurants, I get beer that tastes like stale lipstick. Ugh. I always send it back.

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