Thursday, June 4, 2009

Service, please

Soggy Coaster encountered a classic problem during a visit to Steamworks Brewing Co. on Wednesday: He was served the wrong beer.

I ordered a dandelion saison, a recent release from the Durango Bootleggers Society, the consortium of local brewers. It's one of those beers that will be around a short time then disappear, maybe forever. It's light and tasty with just a hint of dandelion. In short, it's a fine spring/summer beer.

My first reaction to the beer I was served was: "Boy, that's a good deal hoppier than I remember." After the second sip, I knew there was no possibility that it was the beer I ordered.

I was annoyed at first, fearing the bartender served me a different beer for whatever reason (a blown keg, perhaps) and hoped I wouldn't notice. So I politely complained to a server. He asked me to pour a little into a clean glass and took a sip. It was the Steam Engine Lager, he said. That's a fine beer, to be sure, but not what I ordered.

To his credit, the server went to the bar and poured me the saision I had ordered. He didn't charge me extra. He explained that the saison tap and the Steam Engine tap are adjacent. I compared the color and the two beers were virtually identical. So I chalked it up to an honest mistake.

Still, it's a fairly basic thing to receive the beer you ordered. If you don't, you shouldn't be shy to bring it up.

I feel like in Durango, service is sometimes pretty terrible. This seems especially true in establishments like Steamworks that are very busy and tend to attract a ton of tourists. Most servers, however, will correct a mistake if you ask. You just have to tell them.


  1. I was similarly helped by an OB nurse after we got home and discovered the baby the hospital sent us home with wasn't our little Justin.