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> The bane of the Homebrewer..., how is it that so many beer bar owners are so ignorant?
Thorhale
post May 10 2012, 04:38 AM
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So I am going through the training program of a beer bar here, and the owner had the audacity to write up his own descriptions for nearly every beer style you can imagine. That's all fine and good, but after a bit of reading I found myself yelling at my manual "NO NO NO!". Its so frustrating to me that this is what they TEACH their staff, and large portions are either very poorly worded, or just wrong.
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TheProfessor
post May 10 2012, 04:04 PM
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QUOTE(Thorhale @ May 10 2012, 05:38 AM) *
So I am going through the training program of a beer bar here, and the owner had the audacity to write up his own descriptions for nearly every beer style you can imagine. That's all fine and good, but after a bit of reading I found myself yelling at my manual "NO NO NO!". Its so frustrating to me that this is what they TEACH their staff, and large portions are either very poorly worded, or just wrong.


Wrong in what way? Compared to the BJCP descriptions??
If that's the case, then it's important to consider...
1) That a lot of those are wrong too (or at least, many of them are somewhat arbitrary or contrived)...and
2) The BJCP descriptions apply only to homebrew competitions.
And homebrew competition 'styles' and real world 'styles' are not the same.

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding that lately.

There are really only a handful of true beer styles, with the rest being sub-variants.
Treating the BJCP guidelines as 'beer gospel' is the main reason that I (and other people) don't take the Cicerone and similar programs very seriously.

In any case, finish the bar training, then use your own knowledge base as a better guide.
If you do it diplomatically, you may even feel comfortable enough at some point to offer some suggestions with regard to improving the descriptives that manager has written. If he's smart (which some bar managers admittedly are not) he should realize that your hands-on experience with beer and how it is made should count for something. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/cheers.gif)
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Thorhale
post May 12 2012, 08:14 PM
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If BJCP styles were the standard then these styles are all off base. We are talking one or two sentences each of description here. Arbitrary or contrived certainly would suit these styles sooner than those of the BJCP or any other style guidelines for that matter. Its not like he said a different range in OG and SRM for a given style.

For example, "Czech pilsners have a very heavy malt flavor in addition to its hop profile", or "sahti, similar to hefeweizen... flavored with juniper twigs."

not wholly wrong... just not right. Then there are the unusual names for the different types of glassware, and the pages of beer tasting terms. It claims Belgian lace is the same as the legs, like in wine, among many other things.

I am all for being creative and verbose when describing a beer, but some things that are established standards are exactly that.

Ill certainly take your advice here and consider my long term diplomatic options, but because of stuff like this I am more apt to move on to a new company if the opportunity should arise.
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Thorhale
post May 15 2012, 03:06 PM
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Ha, so I got marked down on a test for saying a Belgian triple was malty, and an American brown ale could be chocolatie.
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TheProfessor
post May 19 2012, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE(Thorhale @ May 15 2012, 04:06 PM) *
Ha, so I got marked down on a test for saying a Belgian triple was malty, and an American brown ale could be chocolatie.



LOL. I feel your pain.

Reminds me of the time I entered a Scotch Wee Heavy into a competition. I got the scoresheets back and stopped reading them after I read the first one, which indicated I was dinged because "the beer is too malt forward for a wee heavy, which needs a significant hop presence."

Sheeesh. Not sure how he passed his judge exam...
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Thorhale
post May 19 2012, 10:36 PM
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Well I am pleased to announce I have moved on to a much better opportunity. Sad to say its not at a beer bar, but at least I don't have to deal with Cicerone Certified Beer Servers who think they know better than me.

The up side is, I finally have the job I got a BS for and I'll still be involved with craft beer in at least some way at work.
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papasmurf
post Jun 17 2012, 09:03 PM
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QUOTE(Thorhale @ May 15 2012, 04:06 PM) *
Ha, so I got marked down on a test for saying a Belgian triple was malty, and an American brown ale could be chocolatie.

So in what sick world isn't a Triple malty? Unless the person was looking for winey or estery I think your looking at someone with a dead pallet. I won't even even comment on the brown....
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TheProfessor
post Jun 18 2012, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE(Thorhale @ May 19 2012, 11:36 PM) *
Well I am pleased to announce I have moved on to a much better opportunity. Sad to say its not at a beer bar, but at least I don't have to deal with Cicerone Certified Beer Servers who think they know better than me.

The up side is, I finally have the job I got a BS for and I'll still be involved with craft beer in at least some way at work.



Congrats on your move.
I'm also gratified to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks that Cicerone certification is a pretty meaningless exercise.

This post has been edited by TheProfessor: Jun 18 2012, 05:06 PM
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Thorhale
post Jun 19 2012, 03:25 AM
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QUOTE(TheProfessor @ Jun 18 2012, 03:04 PM) *
Congrats on your move.
I'm also gratified to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks that Cicerone certification is a pretty meaningless exercise.


Perhaps the second level is more worthwhile, but the first bar is just set too low imho
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TheProfessor
post Jun 19 2012, 07:48 PM
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QUOTE(Thorhale @ Jun 19 2012, 04:25 AM) *
Perhaps the second level is more worthwhile, but the first bar is just set too low imho


I suppose you're right.
But the whole thing really seems a bit pretentious to me, and reinforces the growing notion that people are trying to make beer into the new wine (with prices to match. LOL.)

Just my own opinion, of course...after all, the program certainly does not seem wanting for participants.
Maybe I'm just being to hard on the idea. If I were in the service industry, perhaps I would feel different about it.

Maybe it'll actually do some good somewhere.
Or maybe it'll just make choosing beer more intimidating for the 'great unwashed'. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/hehe.gif)
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Thorhale
post Jun 22 2012, 08:40 PM
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The certified beer servers I have encountered seem to have a certain air of snobbery for sure however I cannot deny that a beer bar full of them makes the place easier to navigate as a craft beer drinker. As for everyone else I couldn't really comment.

I for one believe in a future where there is a market for high abv beers, vintage beers, and the like, right along side our favorite easy drinking accessible brews. Sure beer pairs better with food than wine could dream of, but at the end of the day just drink what you like!
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