Customer Claims a Dallas Red Lobster Served Him Beer Laced with Caustic Poison

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Justin Grogg was in town from Panama City on a business trip when he and a colleague went out on the town to sample the local fare. They went to the Red Lobster at Stemmons and Northwest Highway, and Grogg ordered a Budweiser.

Grogg says it took only a second for him to realize that the burning sensation in his throat, esophagus and stomach was something more than the tingle of carbonation. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated for inflammation and ulceration of his esophagus and pharynx. The pain eventually subsided, but doctors told him his future would likely be plagued by infections, acid reflux and difficulty swallowing.

The burning was not, as the beer snobs among us will soon suggest, caused by the general odiousness of mass-produced American lager. It was caused instead by the mouthful of potassium hydroxide Grogg got when he sipped his beer.

In a lawsuit filed last week in Dallas County, he says the restaurant had used the lye-like cleaning agent to disinfect the Budweiser keg that morning but had failed to properly rinse the container before refilling it with the beer Grogg would later drink.

So Grogg is suing both Ben E. Keith, the supplier that cleaned the kegs, and Red Lobster, which served him the corrosive beer. He's seeking compensation for mental and physical suffering, emotional distress and medical expenses.

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47 comments
salukidawgs11
salukidawgs11

This story is written horribly. Do some research on the topic before you write a story about it. They do not fill kegs on site.

demoncat_4
demoncat_4

another reason that i am not a beer drinker feel sorry for the guy if nothing else red lobster should also offer him a free meal besides paying his medical bills for the mistake and no one checking to make sure the keg  was washed down and rised all the cleaning agent complety

Willie
Willie

Nicholson should be ashamed for writing such crap.  Any moron, including one who writes anything about beer, should know that kegs aren't rinsed out (at least at the restaurant) and that it was the plastic line running from the keg to the tap that was cleaned and, apparently, not rinsed out.  Sheesh!

Anywho, drinking draft Bud at a Red Lobster?  While that's pretty bad form, the punishment still exceeded the crime.


primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Another reason to avoid keg beer.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

"disinfect the Budweiser keg that morning but had failed to properly rinse the container before refilling it with the beer"   This simply doesn't sound right.   Would really like clarification from Mr Nicholson

PerryMoore
PerryMoore

Yes, while other breast beaters are spewing forth angst-driven drivel about our failing public education system, young Mr. Nicholson is attempting to crack the nut of this personal vs. corporate responsibility dilemma with his giant, journalistic--er, nutcracker. Kudos to DO and young Mr. Nicholson for another incisive piece of reportage.

barcenas.m214
barcenas.m214

they dont even server budweiser on tap there wtf?

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Comes to Dallas to eat at Red Lobster and loves Longhorn steakhouse back home. SMH.

barcenas.m214
barcenas.m214

they dont even server budweiser on tap there lmao!!!!!

wilme2
wilme2

Wait - kegs would not be cleaned at the restaurant.  They would be swapped by the distributor with new kegs.  So this story does not make sense.  Now if the beer tap LINES were being cleaned, and somehow instead of the restaurant doing it they hired the distributor to do it, then this makes sense.  I clean my beer lines, including faucet and keg coupler, when I sawp out a keg at my home kegerator...

Bill Hamel
Bill Hamel

He went to Red Lobster and is worried about ingesting poison?

David Indorf
David Indorf

Bud AND RL food? How could anyone know the source of the illness?

David Indorf
David Indorf

Bud and RL food? How could anybody know the source of the illness?

Thomas Ray
Thomas Ray

The real question is why was he even at red lobster?

Tim Smathers
Tim Smathers

Thank god he didn't eat the crappy food!

Rudy Cruz
Rudy Cruz

If the accusation is true, Red Lobster is still liable along with Ben E Keith. Just because they use a vendor doesn't absolve them. That's why they're named in the lawsuit.

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

Judge: You went to a Red Lobster at Stemmons and NW Hwy? CASE DISMISSED.

Kelly Tomlinson
Kelly Tomlinson

Keg washing is not done at ANY restaurant, that's all done at the brewery. Kegs are sealed at the brewery and the only way to get the beer out is through the complicated one-way tap mechanism. Ultimately, Red Lobster won't be held liable because Ben E Keith did all of the damage with a poorly trained employee cleaning the keg LINES and taps, not the keg.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Go to a national chain for local fare? Downhill from there. But what about the other Bud drinkers that day?

Blake Page
Blake Page

The story states that Ben E Keith washed the keg and it also states that Grogg is suing them as well.

Kelly Tomlinson
Kelly Tomlinson

Restaurants don't rinse out their kegs. This story lacks proper research. I can tell you what happened and I wasn't even there: Ben E Keith sent a $10 an hour grunt to go rinse the beer lines and clean the tap without adequate training. Suing Red Lobster will get Grogg nowhere, he needs to sue Ben E Keith. They have more money anyway.

Kendall Motzny
Kendall Motzny

Venturing into a Red Lobster is just asking for it. That place is nasty.

Christine Carey
Christine Carey

Is Red Lobster and Budweiser really the best way to sample local fare? Or was this before he went to the strip clubs? A little stray from the point, but I'm curious.

NewsDog
NewsDog

He lives on the Gulf Coast and goes to a Red Lobster???  He ordered a Budweiser??  He was in the neighborhood of NW Highway and Stemmons?  How many bad decisions can one person make in one moment?

Daniel
Daniel

Just to think, it could have been me! If I would be caught dead in a Red Lobster or drinking a Budweiser, that is.

JSSS
JSSS

Panama City? Budweiser? Red Lobster? That's a wonderful threesome.

MrJohn
MrJohn

Is anyone else a little amused that a man named Grogg had trouble with his beer?

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

Two observations: Keg beer makes me fart, and Florida residents have no business dining at RL.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Sotiredofitall 

I'm guessing that it was regular tap-line maintenance by the distributor and someone didn't perform a final flush on the Budweiser lines.

As far as I know, kegs are filled at the brewery.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

No they don't. But they do serve Bud on tap there.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

@barcenas.m214 Nicholson should do an in-depth interview with you to get more critical information for this hard-hitting piece.  


And by "do an in-depth interview", I mean "completely ignore".

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Distributors handle this for their accounts.

NewsDog
NewsDog

@wilme2   And Ben E Keith, the distributor, wouldn't be re-filling the kegs either. That would be done at the brewery itself. Which for Bud would be down in Houston. 

This could get interesting... or desperate.     

Daniel
Daniel

@MrJohn And when places like Libertine or Craft & Growler tap a keg of one-off specialty ale -- it's Just-in Grog.  

JustSaying
JustSaying

@ScottsMerkin I had a good friend that waited tables at a red lobster for maybe a month when we were kids. He would always come over after work with a big ass bag full of cheddar biscuits. It looked a lot like that scene in Boogie Nights where Dirk and Reed were sweating on the couch while they waited for Todd Parker to score them some dope. The first time he brought them we were thankful. By the second day we had the shakes and greeted him at the door with a "what took you so fucking long?".

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