More than once over the years I the wait staff at various restaurants and bars served me the wrong beer .  Sometimes it is obvious such as a dark beer showing up when it should be lighter in color and other times it is not.  There is a myriad of reasons why the wrong beer is being served, and it may not be the servers fault.  The question is how you handle it.

The first question you need to ask yourself is if you are sure the wrong beer is in your hand.  Do not make a servers job harder than it is if you are not sure.  If you have taken a sip ask yourself if you are ok drinking the beer you have.  If I am sitting down to a meal, and the pairing is off I will say something.  However, if I am just drinking beer and hanging out I likely will not say anything.  Here is what went through my mind when I was served a Bell’s Oberon over a Stone IPA:

  1. I didn’t look at the beer as it was handed to me I just sipped it.
  2. That is not right.
  3. Is it about the same price?
  4. Its good beer why complain?
  5. Yeah not worth it.

More and more bars are increasing their tap options, but likely not getting staff trained on these options.  What do you do when your given the wrong beer?  Do you cry? Scream? Never go back?  Leave me a note in the comments.


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  1. Blake Murrah says:

    I will bring it to the servers attention, oftentimes it is not the server at fault, it is a busy barback, or bartender that just got the order mixed up. Having worked in food service for a number of years I am very patient and understanding when it comes to my own orders being altered involuntarily. However, I will insist on the correct beer being brought if the one I am served is unsatisfactory. However, this is a rare occurrence.

  2. MASGLBC says:

    Depends on the beer but I am not going to act like the world is ending.

    Although I did send a beer back when they just dumped the beer from a bottle into the glass but that was a 3 fonteinen oude geuze that cost $10 for a 12oz bottle. Who would think you hold a beer bottle straight up in the air to pour it? Yuck! Then again that was they only time I ever say that bartender.

  3. jackscrow says:

    I bring it to the server’s attention. Generally, unless it’s terrible beer, I then finish it, often to be comped on the next – correctly served – beer.

    No big deal.

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