Bringing matters to a head: A few complaints about beer service – Los Angeles Times

While beer is getting more attention and more practiced service in restaurants these days, there’s still a long ways to go before ales and lagers get the same respect as Cabernets and Pinots at finer dining establishments.

Proper care and service of beer is just as important, though. While Los Angeles does have many establishments that give beer the same care that wine enjoys — from Downtown’s Little Bear, where Belgian style ales are poured with a keen eye to detail, to Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, where you know you’ll be getting proper glassware — all too often the elusive perfect pint is marred by some small issue that servers don’t know is a problem. Or they just don’t care.

Last week, Irene Virbila gave us her wine service pet peeves (and asked for yours), and here are my betes noires about ordering craft beer.

The basics

Virbila called out many wine service blunders that also apply to beer. Getting a too-cold brew is close to the top of my list of most-common faults — thankfully some patience (and hand-holding) can correct this one. All of the niggles regarding inattentive or over-attentive service also apply to beer, but an inconsistent pour-size is the most annoying. There’s nothing wrong with an eight- or six-ounce glass of beer (especially with bold and boozy styles like barley wines and imperial stouts), but beer lists need to include the pour-size so there are no surprises. An unbalanced beer list filled with high-alcohol brews or loaded with IPAs without a light and sessionable option is also far too common.

Speaking of beer lists, how hard is it to list the alcohol content, glass size, and price next to the beer and brewery …read more

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