A couple of months ago I went to the launch of the Granville Island Brewing’s then new Brockton IPA. There I met Crystal Henrickson, Yelp‘s only Vancouver based employee. I told her that I liked Yelp for its reviews, but really didn’t contribute any myself. Crystal is Yelp’s community manager in Vancouver, meaning her job is to get Vancouverites using Yelp. To get me to use Yelp, she took the unexpected approach of chastising me for consuming other people’s opinions without contributing any of my own. In case you are getting the wrong idea, she did this in a friendly way that I appreciated. I hadn’t really thought of it that way and, swayed by guilt, I signed up for Yelp to review a few of my favorite places.
Tonight, had I the choice of beer drinking venues to situate myself, I likely would have been at Dix tenth anniversary celebration that featured five casks of IPA from each of the Mark James Group brewpubs. Instead, I went to the Alibi Room for a business meeting, which is never a bad place to find yourself. It turns out that the Alibi Room is one of the first places I reviewed on Yelp. Loving it so, I gave it five stars for their friendly service and commitment to providing excellent local craft beer and delicious food. After I ordered today, I was surprised when Nigel, the owner of the Alibi Room, thanked me for my review on Yelp! First off, I had no idea that he knew who I was. Secondly, I should be thanking him for all the hard work he’s put into providing an excellent establishment for me to enjoy. Later on, I ordered a pint of Spinnakers Oatmeal Stout from Nigel. He kindly let me know that he thought his remaining stock of this beer might not be up to snuff and suggested I order a Pike Extra Stout instead. I took his advice and not only did I greatly enjoy the recommended Pike Extra Stout, but Nigel also brought me a taste of the beer I’d originally ordered. He was right, the Spinnakers Oatmeal Stout had gone off, a problem we’ve noted in Spinnakers packaged products in the past. What service! This is a great example of why the Alibi Room is a stand up joint. Also, don’t get the wrong impression about Spinnakers in general. It is a great pub to go visit, but I’d avoid ordering their products anywhere else.
Thank you Crystal for getting me onto Yelp. I’m glad that one little review that took a few minutes of my time to write could be noticed by, and possibly help, one of my favorite establishments. If anyone out there is interested, this is my Yelp page. I’ve not been keeping up with my reviews and could use some encouragement.