Changing the format of this series from a rip-off of Viz Top Tips to a rip-off of You Are the Ref, with apologies to Boak and Bailey who had that particular idea first.
This time, you are the beer drinker.
You’re in a pub – one of your local haunts. You know the landlord pretty well and he knows you write about beer so he’s always keen to get your thoughts on his offering and he buys you the occasional pint. But he’s away – he’s got to go and sort out another pub in the small group to which this one belongs.
You buy a pint of cask ale and it isn’t right. It’s clear, but the flavour is all wrong. You suspect the reason for this is that the beer has been put on sale before it has had time to condition fully. You take the pint back, and the staff change it, asking you what you think is wrong. You tell them you think it’s been put on sale before being fully conditioned, and the duty bar manager says, “You’re probably right. We had such a busy weekend the beer’s being flying out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re putting the cask beers on too early.”
With this information, you decide to order a pint of Pilsner Urquell instead.
Back at your table, you find the Pilsner is also undrinkable. It’s full of acetaldehyde, the green apple flavour indicative of oxidisation.
So here’s the first question: you’ve already taken one beer back. You’ve got another that’s undrinkable. Do you:
a) Take the second beer back, tell the the lager’s shit as well as the ale, and make yourself a complete pain in the arse, inevitably looking like a bit of a twat even though you’re in the right?
b) Just leave it untouched on the table and go somewhere else as soon as the Beer Widow has finished her Leffe?
c) Something else I haven’t thought of?
Because I dunno. I do know that if I didn’t know the circumstances, with the landlord being away and everything, I’d never set foot in the place again.
But there’s a part two as well.
As you’re leaving, you walk past the bar and you see the bar manager serving a customer with the same cask ale you took back, the cask ale he has admitted should not be on sale. Now, what do you do? He’s either calling you a pain in the arse behind your back, or he’s assuming other customers who aren’t the same sticklers as you will simply not notice. But what if other customers do notice, and without your level of knowledge, they just assume that the beer is shit, or the pub is shit, or both, and go somewhere else next time?
You like this pub. Again, what do you do?