Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Top-Notch Service – Pub Trade Take Note.


A few days ago I took Messrs Marks and Spencer's kind offer of four bottles of Cornish IPA for the price of three.

I opened the first bottle: dull, lacking flavour, limp, oxidisation starting to rear its ugly wet cardboard head.

I opened the second then the third – the same problem. The fourth remained unopened – I'd got the message.

Braving the icy roads, clutching my receipt, I took them back to M&S.

The checkout assistant summoned a friendly lady from the stock room. A profuse apology was offered while a refund form was being filled in.

I took my money and turned to leave.

"Wait, you haven't got your replacements."

A bag containing four more bottles was thrust at me.

I paused while I wiped away a tear of joy at the niceness of the world (almost).

8 comments:

Woolpack Dave said...

Was there a best before date on the bottles and do you think the original offer was related to known short dates?

Jeff Pickthall said...

The BB date was something like 9/10 so I they weren't discounting old stock.

Ed said...

There was definitely something wrong there, when I had a bottle it was excellent.

Fishter said...

I had some of these before Christmas and they were absolutely gorgeous.

Better than many a pint I've had in a pub.

Nice to know that M&S won't give you the cold shoulder like I got in one (shall remain nameless) pub - "It's real ale, it's supposed to be flat and have no head". Eh?!

scissorkicks said...

Nice! Hope the replacements are ok, as I've had this before and it really was excellent.

Woolpack Dave said...

It's interesting. I opened a bottle of my own that had been sat on a shelf at ambient and in sunlight. It was bloody awful. I tried several others over a period of a week or so and all the rest we're OK. Some had been stored all their life in the cellar and others part time on the same shelf. I'm assuming that the time on the shelf was the key factor but had no way of knowing how long that had been for any bottle.

I'm guessing the offending bottles have extended time at ambient or above. Controlling this, is of course, the key.

Crown Brewer Stu said...

it always worries me that my bottle conditioned beers might not be stored correctly once they have left the brewery. Also in summer shops are warm and while I do my best to get the conditioning right there could also be a bit more secondary fermentation on a warm shelf.

Fishter said...

What is the 'best' way to store bottle conditioned beers?

I know the bottles say "in a dark cool place", but what is cool? And how dark is dark?

I've been ousted from my former beer cupboard and now my beer is in the corner of a room that gets no direct sunlight. Is that good enough?