Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Betjeman Arms

After my last positive post regarding a station bar, it is a shame that my next will be another rant about customer service.

Before I kick off, I must admit I was partly to blame. I should never have gone anywhere near the remnants of the St Paddy's beer festival that was held from 17th to 21st March at the Betjeman Arms on St Pancras station. I was there on Monday 22nd and after enjoying a pint of Roosters infused with lucky shamrock from the bar I was lured outside by the advert that there were still 15 beers available on stillage outside.

The Adnams Stout was still pouring well with plenty of condition and that was my (very poor) choice. The beer was horrible and was quickly taken back to the bar where there was the following exchange :

Me : I'm sorry but this beer is sour.

Barman : It's supposed to taste like that.

Me : It tastes like vinegar.

Barman : It's a stout, that's the roasted malt.

Me : It's not. It's a bacterial infection.

Barman : You should read the tasting notes before ordering.

Me : I think I know what it should taste like.

Barman : Nobody else has complained and we have sold lots of it.

Me : The infection would probably not have been there since the barrel was tapped. It will have gone sour over time.

Barman - as he tastes the beer : There's nothing wrong with it but I want you to be happy so I will replace it with Fullers Porter.

Me : Thank you

As a railway bar, the Betjeman Arms is a welcome addition to London. For the beer lover it is a far more enjoyable place to wait for your train than London's longest champagne bar. Geronimo Inns should be praised for the manner in which they have given the pub a real ale focus with a least two regular beers and frequent beer festivals. On this occasion though they left a sour taste in the mouth.


Nukkles Malone G.B.H. and Bar said...

Those type of bar staff are trained at the I.O.B.

Institute of Bullshit

I had a similar response from the Swan in Hammersmith, P.C.

Pretentious Crap

I love abbreviations, me...

Brew Wales said...

Not had to complain about a beer for well over a year now. Coincidently its the same time scale that I have not been in Chaverspoons.

Rudolph said...

I had the same problem with this station pub. Although the ales from inside are generally good to very good, they don't have the first clue how to run a festival. I have watched them setting up, train was delayed!, and their hygiene left a lot to be desired. I just assume they are different with their cellar. My advice, there are much better pub festivals around London now so don't waste time in here.