Thursday, December 30, 2010

Double Shot of Beer Faux Pas

I visited JJ Brewsky's in Camarillo for the first time Monday night.  This is a cavernous restaurant / bar located off the 101.  You can get craft beer along with a wide selection of macros.  I didn't count the taps, but there must have been about twenty to twenty-four, with more than half craft beers.  JJ Brewsky's runs a $3 pint specials on Monday that starts at 3:00 and goes to close.  I ordered Telegraph Brewing's California Ale, which I had had in the bottle, but never on draft.  This is a style-bending beer, but to me, clearly in the Belgian style.  The bartender reached for the typical shaker pint glass, but I asked her if she could use one of the Belgian looking glasses hanging behind the bar.  She reached for a Stella glass and and I asked her about another glass next to it.  She pulled it down and it was a Telegraph pint glass!  I'm sure it was designed for California Ale.  The bartender should have known this and served the beer in it without my prompting.  Faux pas number one.

The second beer I had was Firestone's Union Jack.  The first few sips tasted funny.  I could not guess the strange, off-putting taste, competing with Union Jack's hops.  Then I figured it out - it was detergent.  The glass had not been cleaned properly.  Dang.  I wasn't in the mood to argue or complain so I finished the beer, although it bugged me.  Faux pas number two.  I annoyed our waitress when I told her to have the glass rinsed before pouring my last beer (Racer 5), because the previous pint tasted of cleanser.  For an another annoyance, a good number of the beers on JJ Brewsky's beer menu were unavailable. 

JJ Brewsky's has a good beer selection for the Ventura/Oxnard/Camarillo area.   I can see faux pas number one, as maybe California Ale is not a regular beer and the Telegraph rep may not have trained the bartenders to use the Telegraph glass, but if I'd ordered a Stella, I bet it would have been served in a Stella glass.  Number two is harder to explain away.  Nothing ruins a beer like a mouthful of soap, and any good beer bar knows this.  In San Diego, the Blind Lady Ale House and Pizza Port Ocean Beach have systems to give glasses a quick rinse before pouring a beer.  I used to think this was a bit pretentious, but after working through a detergent laced pint, I don't anymore.  JJ Brewsky's has a good thing going, but it better not take its position as the best beer bar in Ventura/Oxnard/Camarillo for granted because this part of California could use more than one good place to get a beer.

1 comment:

The Hop Daddy said...

I made my way through an Arrogant Bastard that tasted of detergent at Chula Vista Brewery a while back. Not a pleasant experience.