Holgate Brewery, Flat Beer,poor Barstaff,slap Time

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Toper

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After about 10 visits to Holgate,my first bad experience.Last night ,3 of us,a quiet night over a few pints, planned for an overseas visitors goodbye. A Belgian Blonde! Aaaah gotta try that! 3 pints @$11 each,Topaz hops in moderation apart from that i couldn't tell the diff from Carlton Draught ..Yuk! No Belgian yeast derived character in any way, Same thought all round too.My fault though,should have bought a sample first.Second round, 1 Pale Ale ,1 ESB ,and for me a Temptress .Macedon ale was fine ,but the Temptress and the ESB were totally flat,******* totally flat ! And what does the barman say ? 'It's because of the handpump,you get lower carbonation'.Lower,but not none ,idiot! .And the beer comes from a pressurised metal keg,so the pump is really only for display.Wot a fuckhead.At no time did anyone actually check if the 2 beers were flat ,either by trying a sample from the tap or checking the pressure in the keg room,they just kept serving them to other patrons despite our comments.Totally pissweak and not a nice (financially) experience for us .Slap time bar staff ! And we bought hamburgers next door just cos of it :p
 

jbowers

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I've had their ESB on handpump a few times (not at the brewery though) and found the carbonation to be basically dead on with what I tried in London at real-ale pubs. They make a good range of beers, if you can look past the (potentially not so) occasional dose of diacetyl.

Also, you've been there 10 times, and on the 11th time they happened to have one beer on that wasn't great, and their casks were running flatter than usual? Sounds like a pretty well run business if you ask me. If only 1 out of 11 Australian craft beers I had presented serious problems, I'd be a happy man.

Also, as far as I am aware, the hand-pump kegs would not be served using pressure. They might use CO2 as a way of preventing oxidation in the beer, but the pressure required to serve the beer most certainly comes from the pump itself....
 

Midnight Brew

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I think once you tap a keg using oxygen to serve/carbonate you only have about 2 days before the beer takes a nose dive. The kegs wouldnt be carbonated anyway thats the whole idea behind a hand pump. IMO hand pumps dont quiet fit into Aus craft beer as you'll never go through a keg quick enough before it becomes tainted. Thats my 2cents anyway.
 

Kingbrownbrewing

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I think once you tap a keg using oxygen to serve/carbonate you only have about 2 days before the beer takes a nose dive. The kegs wouldnt be carbonated anyway thats the whole idea behind a hand pump. IMO hand pumps dont quiet fit into Aus craft beer as you'll never go through a keg quick enough before it becomes tainted. Thats my 2cents anyway.
Absolutely correct. But I reckon that throwing out a $300+ keg makes that a bit hard for a bar operator to part with. A real shame that a brewery wouldn't care about how their beer is served at their own bar.
 

Midnight Brew

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Also it would be great if they could package the hand pump beers in smaller kegs like 30L ones to keep the turnover high and to prevent these problems but the tax is more on a smaller keg then a 50L one.

"Brewers are effectively penalized for selling beer in small kegs and bottles as beer in containers less than 50L (bottles, cans, small kegs) attracts a large hike in excise tax of around an extra $0.50 per litre of full strength beer. Small brewers are already paying premiums for their ingredients without the economies of scale as the major brewers so the cost to produce a litre of beer is significantly more expensive for them. Small brewers would much prefer to sell beer in 20L or 30L kegs and in bottles, which are also great for promoting moderation and a healthy lifestyle, but all of these attract the highest excise rate possible."

More in this article:
http://www.beerandbrewer.com/ForumRetrieve...amp;TopicID=297
 

erniebeer

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Holgate brewery do have a great selection but yes the ambience and feel of the place tends to be business business business and not the friendly type of service for a small brewery. Great presentation of the place and the bottles but i do agree not the friendliest small run business out there.
 

manticle

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Email Natasha.

I had trouble when I wanted to ask some questions about dinner and brewery tours, having already booked and paid for a room a few months back. I'd rung the number listed and the bar/restaurant was obviously busy with service but I was brushed off and told to ring back 'later when we're not so busy'.

I emailed my questions to Natasha instead and politely mentioned the brush off - she was apologetic which was all I needed. Once we got there, bar staff and restaurant staff were very polite and helpful.
 

unco_tomato

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Doesn't sound too good to me. I was planning a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne for a week-long pub crawl with some friends in March. Holgate was on the list, but given what you said and the fact we have already tried all of their year-round brews it could be worth a miss. I hate ignorant bar staff who won't listen to your complaint, or at the very least sample the beer for themselves and give you their opinion on it.

I had the same thing at 4 Pines in Manly. I got the ESB which tasted like the beer line was full of water. It was extremely bland and watery with no carbonation. I said "i think there is water in my beer, it's nothing like any ESB I've had in the past". The barman answers "We're just trying to keep you on your toes" smiles and serves another customer. I was severely pissed that he didn't even pour himself one, or take a sample of mine. I didn't buy any more beer that night, but I will admit I went back as I do like the venue and their beer (usually). As expected, next time I went back the ESB was much better.

I would go there once a fortnight with mates if they weren't so rude. Instead I make my way there once every 5-6 weeks.
 

Count Vorlauf

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After about 10 visits to Holgate,my first bad experience.Last night ,3 of us,a quiet night over a few pints, planned for an overseas visitors goodbye. A Belgian Blonde! Aaaah gotta try that! 3 pints @$11 each,Topaz hops in moderation apart from that i couldn't tell the diff from Carlton Draught ..Yuk! No Belgian yeast derived character in any way, Same thought all round too.My fault though,should have bought a sample first.Second round, 1 Pale Ale ,1 ESB ,and for me a Temptress .Macedon ale was fine ,but the Temptress and the ESB were totally flat,******* totally flat ! And what does the barman say ? 'It's because of the handpump,you get lower carbonation'.Lower,but not none ,idiot! .And the beer comes from a pressurised metal keg,so the pump is really only for display.Wot a fuckhead.At no time did anyone actually check if the 2 beers were flat ,either by trying a sample from the tap or checking the pressure in the keg room,they just kept serving them to other patrons despite our comments.Totally pissweak and not a nice (financially) experience for us .Slap time bar staff ! And we bought hamburgers next door just cos of it :p
Hi,
Ian here. I'm one of the brewers at Holgate. Sorry you had a bad experience, but glad it was only 1 out of 10. We'll work on that average. I was pouring 5000 or so beers at Ballarat at the time or would have been happy to field your complaint and avoid the necessity of an online rant. The Blonde was pouring pretty well at Ballarat- sold out by 4, but Rachell zoomed a couple more kegs down by 5:30. Those were gone by 7:30. Obviously a very unpopular beer. Had some nice comments from fellow brewers and the Beer Diva on it, but they probably don't know what they're on about. It was fermented with 1762 at 22-24C so surprised you didn't pick up any Belgian characteristics. Maybe it would have been a nice accompaniment for those gourmet top shop burgers.

As for the pumps - yes we serve from metal kegs rather than casks, but it is pumped up from the cellar, not forced through like the electronic show taps in the UK.

If you make it back again and we're around give us a holler and I'll shout you a pint.

Cheers
Ian
 

spog

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:beer: now thts customer service,and nailing the lid shut....cheers......spog.........
Hi,
Ian here. I'm one of the brewers at Holgate. Sorry you had a bad experience, but glad it was only 1 out of 10. We'll work on that average. I was pouring 5000 or so beers at Ballarat at the time or would have been happy to field your complaint and avoid the necessity of an online rant. The Blonde was pouring pretty well at Ballarat- sold out by 4, but Rachell zoomed a couple more kegs down by 5:30. Those were gone by 7:30. Obviously a very unpopular beer. Had some nice comments from fellow brewers and the Beer Diva on it, but they probably don't know what they're on about. It was fermented with 1762 at 22-24C so surprised you didn't pick up any Belgian characteristics. Maybe it would have been a nice accompaniment for those gourmet top shop burgers.

As for the pumps - yes we serve from metal kegs rather than casks, but it is pumped up from the cellar, not forced through like the electronic show taps in the UK.

If you make it back again and we're around give us a holler and I'll shout you a pint.

Cheers
Ian
 

Rowy

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Hi,
Ian here. I'm one of the brewers at Holgate. Sorry you had a bad experience, but glad it was only 1 out of 10. We'll work on that average. I was pouring 5000 or so beers at Ballarat at the time or would have been happy to field your complaint and avoid the necessity of an online rant. The Blonde was pouring pretty well at Ballarat- sold out by 4, but Rachell zoomed a couple more kegs down by 5:30. Those were gone by 7:30. Obviously a very unpopular beer. Had some nice comments from fellow brewers and the Beer Diva on it, but they probably don't know what they're on about. It was fermented with 1762 at 22-24C so surprised you didn't pick up any Belgian characteristics. Maybe it would have been a nice accompaniment for those gourmet top shop burgers.

As for the pumps - yes we serve from metal kegs rather than casks, but it is pumped up from the cellar, not forced through like the electronic show taps in the UK.

If you make it back again and we're around give us a holler and I'll shout you a pint.

Cheers
Ian
First rule of dealing with complaints is not to get into a sarcastic rant yourself. Could have got to the bottom line of your comment without all that and everyone would have walked away happy. You may think otherwise but the person paying the wages, the customer, would have felt better. Does it really matter if you think they are a dickhead? Now you have lost at least one customer by belittling them. Lost for a while I would say and they will no doubt tell 10 who will tell 10 and so on. Customer service 101 its pretty basic but lots of people who deal with people forget it. Just my 2c don't give a **** really.
 

chunckious

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First rule of dealing with complaints is not to get into a sarcastic rant yourself. Could have got to the bottom line of your comment without all that and everyone would have walked away happy. You may think otherwise but the person paying the wages, the customer, would have felt better. Does it really matter if you think they are a dickhead? Now you have lost at least one customer by belittling them. Lost for a while I would say and they will no doubt tell 10 who will tell 10 and so on. Customer service 101 its pretty basic but lots of people who deal with people forget it. Just my 2c don't give a **** really.
+1

**** Ian's response reeks of arrogance.
Luckily I judge them by their beers and not how far up their arse their heads are. B)
 
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stuart13

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Maybe it would have been a nice accompaniment for those gourmet top shop burgers.
Sorry for wearing work boots in your country club - we peasants think the Top Shop burgers are quite acceptable...
 

Kingbrownbrewing

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Hi,
Ian here. I'm one of the brewers at Holgate. Sorry you had a bad experience, but glad it was only 1 out of 10. We'll work on that average. I was pouring 5000 or so beers at Ballarat at the time or would have been happy to field your complaint and avoid the necessity of an online rant. The Blonde was pouring pretty well at Ballarat- sold out by 4, but Rachell zoomed a couple more kegs down by 5:30. Those were gone by 7:30. Obviously a very unpopular beer. Had some nice comments from fellow brewers and the Beer Diva on it, but they probably don't know what they're on about. It was fermented with 1762 at 22-24C so surprised you didn't pick up any Belgian characteristics. Maybe it would have been a nice accompaniment for those gourmet top shop burgers.

As for the pumps - yes we serve from metal kegs rather than casks, but it is pumped up from the cellar, not forced through like the electronic show taps in the UK.

If you make it back again and we're around give us a holler and I'll shout you a pint.

Cheers
Ian
You sir, are a wanker. I can't believe the brewery actually let you post that.

Does Paul know you are speaking on his behalf?

You have just lost more than 1 customer, I guarantee it..
 

bum

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Oh noes! Toes have been stepped on on the internet!

HTFU, guys. Good beer. Shut up.
 

RdeVjun

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Not sure if I agree bum, internetz is where pseudo- anon toe- stepping handbags are the everyday, whereas Count Vourlaf is purports to represent the brewer and the OP is obviously an aggrieved return customer with quite high expectations. If it was some random anon just whining after the fact that the beer wasn't the weak fizzy piss other pubs serve then I'd be inclined to agree that some hardening up would be in order but I support the OP's whinge- they've been there many times before, issue was raised with bar staff who seemed indifferent and perhaps inexperienced as related by the OP, and then there's the condescending and obnoxious 'brewer', but we don't know if that's actually the brewer's opinion, perhaps its the clerk's or the storeman's view. Anyway, it has lowered my opinion of Holgate, if that's what they wanted to happen then top marks, alas it seems I'm not alone.
I'd note that point of delivery issues seem to afflict so many Australian micros, so unfortunately this is really nothing new in the grand scheme of things. My own experience is that their ESB is not that reliable, on occasions it has been just superb, most others less so, sometimes very much less so. If I were the OP I'd go back and take the 'brewer' up on that offer of a pint- it would want to give instant wood or pouring the remains of the pint all over the condescending twat would be the only other possible outcome.
 

big78sam

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Fwiw I love the beers at holgate and have found the bar staff to get details wrong before.

I've always found Ian to be a good guy and generous with his time. For example he hosted the bad club for a swap and gave us a tour. I for one will be giving Ian and holgate the benefit of the doubt and not judging them based on one sarcastic post. The offer of a beer is more in line with my experience.
 

Liam_snorkel

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Sure, Ian's response could have been more tactful, but it can be hard to respond nicely to downright aggressive language such as "...Yuk!" "******* totally flat!" "idiot!" and "wot a fuckhead". Had the OP shown a bit of decorum then maybe Ian wouldn't have been as sarcastic in his response.

...'cause it's the heeeaat of the moment..
 
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