How to Constructively Criticize? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:50 PM   #1
hoptualBrew
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I spent the past few days taking the girlfriend out to a mini beach getaway & stopped in yesterday at a local "brewery" for a bite to eat and some drinks on the way back home.

When we showed up, the "brewery" was more of a sports bar with flat screens all around than a dedicated brewery. We sat down and I asked which of their offerings were on tap, to which I was told only 2/5 were available. I ordered their hefeweizen. It came out in a pint shaker, nearly as clear as a bud light which made me anything but good things. The beer was probably the worst representation of any style I have ever drank to date. I sent it back because it literally had no taste. I tried to explain in a nice way to the server that it just wasn't cutting it for a hefeweizen. After digging a little deeper to see who the brewmaster behind the scenes was, I was told he has traveled and brewed in San Diego and "knows what he's doing".

As a homebrewer, beer advocate & lover, and hopeful future professional brewer - I was actually mad when I walked out because of the idea that this "brewery" was putting out such horrid examples of the styles. Some poor beer drinker whose never had a good hefeweizen who drinks this as a first would probably not go back to the style to have quality examples like Paulaner, Weihenstephan, Hacker-Pschorr, etc..

So my question is, is how do you advocate for beer in examples like these without coming off as a pretentious beer snob?


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Old 09-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #2
krispy3d
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My guess, there is no way to do it without coming off as a snob. The second you start saying anything about how a beer style should taste, smell, feel, etc., is the same second you'll be perceived as a snob. Heck, you might even be a bit of a snob if you care that much (I admit I have a bit of snobbery such as this), but it's alright. As long as you're not mad when you deliver it and you pose it in the form of questions (i.e. "Hey brewer, I know a lot of Hefs are hazy and have a big nose with such and such characteristics, but this one is so different. What were you shooting for?"), you shouldn't come off as an *******, which is what you really should avoid.



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Old 09-01-2012, 07:03 PM   #3
MississippiSlim
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Or just be that guy "THIS is not a Hefe" Dont know what it is but not a Hefe! "You learn to brew in prison or something?" LOL Nah probly not the best route!

 
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:05 PM   #4
krispy3d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiSlim View Post
Or just be that guy "THIS is not a Hefe" Dont know what it is but not a Hefe! "You learn to brew in prison or something?" LOL Nah probly not the best route!
Ha, or just do a spit-take once it's handed to you.

 
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:07 PM   #5
Gixxer
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Mar 2012
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I agree with Krispy. Ask them what they were looking for in their interpretation of the style. Then, you could add something like "That's interesting. Not many brewers make traditionally hazy beers clear. But how you make a beer is not a law and experimentation is a good thing". Side note-- Had a Kona Weilua (sp?) wheat and it was clear as a whistle. Did not enjoy the taste of that one...

 
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:07 PM   #6

I never have trouble giving places feedback, good or bad. The server might not know the difference, but word could get back to the owner. Part of you thinks you should tell them in case they take it to heart and try to improve, but then you realize if they are serving beer that crappy they don't care to start with.

I traveled a lot this spring/summer and got to try quite a few different brewpubs. Half had great beer, a couple had serviceable but unremarkable beer, and a few had downright bad beer. I told the server at one place they shouldn't even be serving the beer they were brewing. Another case of a "part time" brewer. Just horribly disgusting, worse than any noob could possibly make.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:08 PM   #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
Had a Kona Weilua (sp?) wheat and it was clear as a whistle. Did not enjoy the taste of that one...
Krystallweizen (sp?) is a legitimate beer to make...but if you're going for Hefe then not so much...
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:09 PM   #8
Gixxer
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Touche' Osage, Touche'. Forgot about that one...

 
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
Phunhog
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The problem is that most people associate Hefeweizen with either Widmer or Pyramid breweries. As most of us know those "hefeweizens" are actually American Wheat style beers. The general population doesn't want to drink a traditional German Hefeweizen....too much actual taste going on.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:06 PM   #10
weirdboy
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I agree with Phundog.


Some people/places say "hefeweizen" when they really just mean "wheat". I am willing to bet what you had was an American Wheat.



 
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