Have you ever been in a situation where a bartender brings you a beer that has gone flat or somehow spoiled? What do you do in a situation like this? Do you send the beer back? Do you demand a free beer?
The important distinction here is that I am not talking about a beer that has a flavor you just don’t like. If you get a beer that simply isn’t to your liking but is true to its style, it would seem pretty tacky to send the beer back.
If the beer is off, however, it’s a different story. Maybe it’s a beer you’ve tried before and are familiar with, and this time it came out skunky or flat or with some type of off-flavor. I feel that it would be best to quietly let the bartender know that something is wrong. She will probably try the beer and if she notices that there is something wrong, more often than not she will replace your bad beer. At the very least, they need to know so that the problem can be fixed before other customers experience it.
Maybe you could even turn this situation into a positive learning experience. I don’t know what words like “phenolic” and “oxidized” mean in regards to beer taste, so maybe I could learn by discussing an off-flavor beer with the bartender or others present.
What would you do if your beer came out with an off-flavor?