Author Topic: We need to talk...  (Read 2672 times)

Offline phillamb168

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We need to talk...
« on: July 26, 2012, 08:43:27 AM »
The dirty lines comments from the Headache thread reminded me of something I've been meaning to ask about here. There's a beer bar (with a nice selection - John Martin's Pale is good) not too far from my house, they have (good) live music every Fri/Sat and the barkeep is a super nice dude in his late 50s. Once everybody gets back from vacation, we're gonna talk about perhaps putting one of my beers on the rotation and helping him get set up to serve actual food.

But there's a problem, and that's his beer lines. I had a guinness there one time and it tasted like cantillon. I asked him about it, he said "I don't like guinness, I don't really know what it's supposed to taste like." and also "I clean my lines every morning."

I didn't ask him how he cleans his lines, because it's too early in our relationship to ask those kinds of questions. But I feel like he may need an intervention or something, because every beer has just a bit of funk too it. Also they're served way too cold, but one step at a time.

Anyway, how should I go about getting his lines really cleaned (with caustic, etc)? Something like "Oh I have extra caustic solution lying around and was wondering if you wanted your lines deep-cleaned?" Or perhaps "let's do a side-by-side of pre- and post-caustic" or somethign?

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Offline gmac

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 09:16:49 AM »
I'd probably look for another bar to go into, even though this one sounds good in some respects.  If you offend him about the lines, he's not likely to want to push your beer.  If you don't get them in proper shape, you sure don't want people forming an opinion about your beer based on these lines.  I think you're too new to risk a bad intro to any new drinker.
Sounds like a no-win to me unless you can get in "impartial" 3rd party to make him realize his sanitation isn't what it should be.

Offline nateo

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 09:34:29 AM »
There are people who can take constructive criticism, but there are way more people who like to think they can take constructive criticism, but actually just get mad and shut it out. I don't know that guy, so I can't say for sure, but based on my experience with humans, it's more likely he's the latter than the former.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2012, 11:49:40 AM »
I think you have to establish that relationship before you can offer advice. If he begins to respect your knowledge as a brewer, he may be open to your suggestions. Bad news is, if the lines are really that bad, it will probably only clear up by replacing them and starting with a good technique.

You may try to get him to replace just your line. If its really that bad, you'll be able to see nastiness in the old lines and then it will be easier to talk him into a new cleaning program.

Be gentle - getting this info across will benefit you as a brewer AND as a patron (along with the other brewers and patrons). However, I agree with gmac, if he won't budge on the cleaning, you can't sell your beer that way. Your job is to deliver your product to the patron in its best form. A production brewery wouldn't use a distributor that couldn't guarantee them cold storage.
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Offline phillamb168

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We need to talk...
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 12:17:01 PM »
Trouble with finding another bar to go to is that there are none that aren't an hour away by train.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 01:31:45 PM »
I think, if you are intending to enter into a business arangement with this guy and you can't talk to him about quality issues related to his end of the business you should run away. Like arthur and the nights of the round table in Monty Python, RUN AWAY!!!!!!

But as a first step just come right out with it. Isn't French culture pretty supporting of in your face honesty?

Something like this (translated to standard west coast american);

"Dude! your beer lines are totally gross. They, like, make me want to, like, barf. If you want to sling this bad a** beer, bro, you are gonna have to strip that s**t down and keep it stripped. WORD"
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Offline nateo

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 01:44:33 PM »
Are you bottling? Does your beer have to be on tap? I know it's way easier to drop a keg off, but if your product will look bad it won't matter.

FWIW Cantillon-flavored Guinness sounds like an improvement to me.
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Offline tygo

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 04:13:57 PM »
Something like this (translated to standard west coast american);

"Dude! your beer lines are totally gross. They, like, make me want to, like, barf. If you want to sling this bad a** beer, bro, you are gonna have to strip that s**t down and keep it stripped. WORD"

Can you recommend a good online tool to translate that into standard northeastern American?  ;D
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 07:30:13 PM »
FWIW Cantillon-flavored Guinness sounds like an improvement to me.

Yeah, I didn't want to hijack the thread but when I read the initial post my first thought was - "So how did the Cantillon-Guinness flavor combo work? Is it worth pitching some dregs into a gallon of dry irish stout to try it out, or was it nasty?"
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2012, 12:38:51 AM »
I think I'd first poke around and see what his lines look like.  They may be clear and you may be able to see sediment in them, then it is easier to talk to him about cleaning.  And if they're accessible, you could offer to replace them yourself for your kegs, for every keg he puts on.  Or not :)
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 01:08:51 AM »
Ah, yeah, re replacing taps, forgot to mention. It's a tied house. So him putting my beer on to begin with will be a sort of under-the-table thing.

The business arrangement running away thing, nothing has really been discussed at all, it's just an idea in my head. He does want to try my beer, though.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 07:19:14 AM »
FWIW Cantillon-flavored Guinness sounds like an improvement to me.

Yeah, I didn't want to hijack the thread but when I read the initial post my first thought was - "So how did the Cantillon-Guinness flavor combo work? Is it worth pitching some dregs into a gallon of dry irish stout to try it out, or was it nasty?"

Guiness has a little soured beer in it already, doesn't it?
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2012, 07:42:52 AM »
Are there other beers that he'd notice the funk in, other than Guiness? Or is he not really into beer enough to notice it.  You could bring a bottled version of one of his beers on tap and do a comparison - that might convince him.
 
You probably need to start drinking there a lot to gain his trust.  ;)
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Offline micsager

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 08:24:40 AM »
I had a similar issue when I won a pro-am contest and brewed at a local Nano.  Except it was the fermenters.  So much beer stone, plus his transfer lines will full of "gunk." 

I just flat out told him that the fermenters need to be cleaned after every batch with some PBW.  (He uses Blichmann's 30 gallong fermenters) He took it with stride, and thanked me for the input.  And I ran into his son (who brews for him) a few weeks later, and he thanked me for the PBW idea.  (not that it was rocket science) But, the owner and I have become friends, and he helped me get my license, and is buying my first commercial keg.




Online morticaixavier

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Re: We need to talk...
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 08:28:05 AM »
Something like this (translated to standard west coast american);

"Dude! your beer lines are totally gross. They, like, make me want to, like, barf. If you want to sling this bad a** beer, bro, you are gonna have to strip that s**t down and keep it stripped. WORD"

Can you recommend a good online tool to translate that into standard northeastern American?  ;D

That's easy,

"Lines're a bit ripe"
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