Craft beer is booming right now: with over 24.3 million barrels of the stuff produced last year from over 9,000 breweries, it’s not hard to find a pint of a good brew. However, with such a large swath of breweries to choose from — and more popping up every year — it’s also not hard to accidentally set foot in one that may not be exactly up to par.
As such, many beer lovers are now taking to Reddit to divulge some details they’ve noticed at craft breweries that set off alarm bells. Whether it be pouring beer into dirty glassware or a menu featuring absolutely nothing other than IPAs, here are the red flags Redditors say to watch out for.
Pouring beers into dirty or previously used glassware.
This should really go without saying, but it’s a problem if you’re at a brewery and they pour your brew into a dirty glass — even if that glass was used by you previously. While reusing your glass might seem more environmentally conscious, all you’re doing is inviting the germs from where your mouth was to the mouth of the tapline they’re pouring your beer from. Not to mention the fact that if you ordered two different beers, your bartender simply risks altering the flavor profile of your new beer.
There are no “classics” on the menu…
Every good brewery should offer some of the staple styles of beer to show it actually knows what it’s doing. Demonstrating prowess in any of these categories illustrates the brewer’s command over the usage of hops, grain, yeast, and water without relying on a slew of adjuncts and flavors to define the beer — or hide flaws. While not a surefire indicator that the remainder of the brewery’s beers will be less than stellar, if more classic styles like pilsners, kölshes, or lagers are left off the menu, it could be indicative of the quality of those other brews.
…or the options consist of IPAs and only IPAs.
Listen, we understand IPAs are having a moment right now — and for some, the hazier the better — but come on. Similarly to how neglecting to include core styles of beer can indicate a lack of command over brewing, offering only IPAs could signal that you’re patronizing a one-trick operation.
Bartenders not paying attention to guests.
This is a frustrating one, especially when your drinks are empty and you’ve been waiting for minutes on end. While breweries are known for their more laid-back style of service as opposed to some other bars and restaurants, it is still a place for service, and good service is important. However, while it may be annoying to stand waiting while a bartender is preoccupied, remember to not be an assh*le when they do come around to fill up your (hopefully clean) glass.
Serving beers exclusively in pint glasses.
While only serving beers in pint glasses may not be a dealbreaker, it is certainly still a choice many Redditors get annoyed with. While the pint glass may be a great option for drinking at home, there are over 20 various shapes of beer glasses to choose from, each of which has a differing impact on the beers poured into them. From tulip glasses that help to elevate aromas present in Belgians and high-alcohol beers to pilsner glasses that elevate, well, pilsners, choosing the right glassware for each beer served on tap is an integral part of the drinking experience.