I hurriedly rushed into a brewpub yesterday in California and asked for a beer menu. I had little time to mess around and wanted to order and get out. The barkeep gave me the menu and told me about the two seasonals and other guest taps. I looked at the uninspired beer list and immediately decided to nix the vanilla added beer. When he came over I asked about individual samples and was told, nope, all we do is the four year-round offerings and one of the seasonals. I then questioned how someone could get tasters of both of the seasonal offerings. He explained you can’t without buying two complete tasters, there are no substitutions. I then asked about half pints and of course the response was no, we don’t do that either. Frustrated I selected their IPA and asked him to get the manager. The manager was quickly summoned and as I sipped what turned out to be a boring brewpub IPA was suddenly thankful I had not gotten a sampler. Anyway I had the same discussion with the manager and when I said I don’t want your vanilla added crap he went off about me insulting his beer. That’s when I dropped my credentials on him, just to fuel the fire, and told him his IPA was uninspired, boring, and pedestrian. I don’t think he quite understood and huffed off to ponder my words. Anyway, as I promised the barkeep I finished my meal (which was kinda crappy too), drank about half the IPA and split. Why couldn’t one of the employees be empowered to swap out a seasonal for a standard offering? Why couldn’t someone decide the price of each sampler and allow customers to select the samples they want? Why couldn’t someone figure out to charge half the price of a pint and pour it half full? Perhaps it was a California thing, or the employees just aren’t asked to use their brain, but to me the solutions were endless and simple. Anyway, I won’t go back there again, not with 4,500 other beer establishments in the US who have figured out the individual sample costs and half pours.

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