The Right Way to Refuse or Return a Beer

How To Politely Refuse or Return a Craft Beer in a Pub, Brewery, Bar or Restaurant

by Terry Hickey
President, CAMRA BC | South Fraser Branch

First off, this isn’t something that should happen very often, however in the world of beer occasionally something goes wrong or in some cases there’s something wrong with the way a beer is being served. This guide has been written in a way to help you politely navigate that rare situation where something just isn’t quite right with your beverage. It is not intended to encourage you to refuse or return more beer, rather it’s a suggested way to improve your experience in dealing with bad product. If you follow these steps, the process of returning a beer should go smoother.

In advance  Reduce your odds before you arrive at an establishment. If it’s a new place to you, feel free to ask the server if they freeze or chill their beer glasses so they can provide one that hasn’t been chilled in advance of your order. It may make sense to call ahead and ask what’s on tap and how often they clean their draught lines (and let us know what they say). Keep a watch out for dipped spouts, foam top offs, and other poor draught beer practices during your visit. Not all of this is possible every time, but a little preparation can go a long way in avoiding a bad beer experience in the first place.

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