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of Big Tree Inn - Geneseo, NY
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"I'm sorry to report that the Big Tree has gone steeply downhill since a change of managers in the fall of 2004. The new manager has no background in or understanding of craft beer and has been dumbing down the beer selection since he took over.Most of the regular tavern customers have stopped going due to the lack of interesting beers and the overall decline of the tavern. One now finds Labatt Blue, Blue Light, and (shudder!)Michelob Ultra taking up tap space. There are still a few micros on tap, but they are mostly run-of-the-mill beers from Custom Brewcrafters. They've had Red Seal recently but charge $5.00/pint for it compared to $3.50 over at the Idle Hour. The selection of bottles has been reduced as well, although there remain enough quality offerings. Draught beer is the main draw for most quality beer bars and the Big Tree's selection is very pedestrian. The current bar staff have no beer knowledge and can't answer customer questions. The attitude now seems to view the tavern as more of a place for restaurant customers to wait for their table rather than an entity in it's own right. Until last fall the place had numerous regulars who gathered there on Friday nights after work as well as Saturdays and even some weeknights. You could count on seeing your friends there. Alas, no more. I've talked with the current manager a number of times in an effort to reverse the decline with no success. I even gave him a connection to obtain west coast micros(twice) but he didn't act on it. He claims he dumbed down the beer because we (craft beer drinkers stopped coming in, but the obvious reality is that we've been absent due to the decline of the tavern. The only hope now is that Campus Auxiliary Services, owner of the Big Tree, notices a decline in tavern revenue and puts someone in charge who knows beer and understands the customers who seek out quality beer."
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