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Ask a beertender

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We asked Kristina Chornoby—bartender at World of Beer’s newest location in Brandon, Fla., and a self-described hop-head—all the stuff you ever wanted to know about beer-bar etiquette.

interview by Noah Davis

How should I tell you I have no idea what kind of beer I want?

Let us know you have no idea. I hear that all the time. We have between 30 and 60 taps, and that gives me the opportunity to put you through an experience: I’ll try to figure out a couple characteristics you like, then bring a few samples that might be near what you said. We’ll keep sampling until we find something you love.

What should I do if I don’t like a pint I ordered?

Tell me. We try to use samples to get everyone something that they like on the first try, but there are definitely times where halfway through the beer a customer will say that the flavor profile isn’t what they were looking for. We’d absolutely buy that back for them, no questions asked.

Bartending’s a social job, but are there times when you’d rather not chat?

Not really. The more conversation, the better. Even when I’m super-busy and I don’t have time to have a long conversation, any type of interaction makes the bar feel better; the overall happiness of everyone in the room increases.

What’s the best way to get a bartender’s attention?

You can go two ways: Be the person who waves obnoxiously, or the one who sits quietly. Either way, I’m going to see you. I’m always looking for guests who are on the last third of their beer. If you’re almost empty, you’re already on my mind. If I don’t happen to see you, call me by name. I should have already introduced myself to you. Just say, “Hey, Kristina, when you get a chance…”

Assuming the service is the same, should I tip more on a complicated cocktail than a draft beer?

I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s based on the amount of work. As long as I serve a quality drink and the customer gets what they ordered, they should base the tip off of that.

What’s the best way to get a free drink?

There have been times where I’ve had a great conversation with somebody, especially when it’s slow. There could be five people in the bar, but those five people made my shift awesome and we all had a good time; I want them to know that I appreciate them coming in and spending time with me, so I’ll buy them a round of shots. I’d be happy to take a little money out of my pocket.


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