BrewDog is asking their customers to give them it straight about their pubs. Oops. Bars. Force of habit that. I is old.
That's a very good idea and doing it publicly is also good. It is to be commended. I don't know how long the consultation will last, but some of the comments have been very enlightening to this outside observer. They (BD) are almost universally praised under "What do we rock at?" for their customer service and product knowledge. Well ten out of ten for that I say. My readers will know that I have yakked on about the lack of customer service in British pubs for years and it is heartening to see that one company takes it so seriously, that in a feedback survey, that's what shines through as being praiseworthy. If only more followed that example.
When it comes to the question "What could we be better at?" perhaps unsurprisingly there's a lot of complaints about high prices, lack of a decent food offering (or it running out) and importantly lack of a good BD brewed lager and critically for those that like a pint or two, lack of sessionable beers. Food can be excused to some extent, because few of their bars are that large and kitchen space must be a problem. I notice in any event that they have a new guy looking at this, so doubtless improvements are on the way here, so I think we can set this aside as it were. A good lager though I'd have thought, is essential in any craft bar and I believe I recall James Watt agreeing it was a bit of a weakness when I visited the brewery a couple of months ago. Fake Lager may have an ironic name, but it seemingly isn't cutting the mustard with some customers at least.
The fact that there are complaints about so few sessionable beers being available can be combined with another recurring comment. Quite a few respondents complained about the lack of cask beer, citing how good it was - a point I have made myself many times. Trashy Blonde is remembered fondly by a few respondents. I remember others fondly too and have written about them in the past. No sessionable beers and no cask is seen as a problem by many of BD's own customers - or at least those that can be bothered to comment. I think we all know what the solution should be, but I somehow doubt if we'll see cask returning. It doesn't suit the image.
Let's hope customer demand proves me wrong.
Funnily enough soft drink range and the non beer ranges in general were panned. I haven't even noticed that. My bad probably.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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