The Firkin for May 2012

When I go to various bars and breweries in Los Angeles, I try to stay a bit incognito. Primarily because I am shy by nature and secondarily because I am there for the beer. So I don’t walk into an establishment with a beer blogger badge around my neck and an air of overimportance and because of that I overhear and see a few things that might not be said otherwise.

And that is the backdrop from whence this post came. I just wanted to drop a few positive and negative “overheard at the bar” tidbits.

PRO – Seeing Jon Carpenter, brewmaster at Golden Road inspecting glasses before beer went into them. I love the fact that he is that involved in all stages of the process.

CON – Bartenders at a noted beer bar kvetching about myself and others patrons asking for a special beer that is on the beer list but not scheduled to be served until later that night. Come on people, be glad that people are psyched and anxious and use that opportunity to highlight another beer on the list.

PRO – I have seen countless bartenders bring out many samples for people who are undecided or new to beer with genuine joy even during busy times. It is a pleasure to watch the craft beer education in progress and I appreciate it every time and tip those servers more.

CON – Staff not being informed of all that is going on. I have heard many a conversation about what price a certain beer should be at, how much to pour and so on. I know it is hard to disseminate information but it seems that large chunks of knowledge aren’t being handed out sometimes.

PRO – Bartenders who sample the new beers. I don’t want them downing pints and pints through the night. But I appreciate that they know what they are talking about and might catch any issues with beers.

CON – The always washing glasses person. This is the flip side to point # 1. I have sat at bars watching glass after glass getting washed whilst patrons were sitting with empty glasses and not even being acknowledged. Though it might seem a flippant problem, we all can learn more patience obviously and places can get busy, some take it to the extreme.

Those are just a few off the top of my head but I am sure there are many more from anyone else who has inhabited a stool at the bar.