Friday, 29 March 2013

Beer again!

It takes a while for me to get around to the ‘latest’ news. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has reduced the cost of beer by 1 penny, or has he?

My local had gone up by 20 pence prior to the budget.

So what did the government actually give us?

This is a pint of Guinness pictured in a a pub north of Birmingham.


It was £3.70 a pint. I got no discount for the 20% head. I actually got £2.96 worth of beer in it. So with the Chancellors 1 penny off I still paid 73p more than the quantity of beer I was sold.

I explained to the seller that I was traveling around the canal and that I took pictures of my Guinness where ever I went for my blog and asked if they would mind if I took a picture. “No problem,” they said, “but let me just top that up so it looks better for your picture.”

I pointed out that they had just sold it to me and it should be photographable (is that a word) when they first put it on my table. Fortunately I had already taken a picture before they picked it up.

This was not an isolated incident. It happened in a number of pubs I went into. None wanting me to photograph the beer they had served me, but rather top it up to make it ‘look better’. This is how come the punter is milked of over £40 million pounds a year.

I think a lot of it is because the staff have little or no understanding of what  the rules mean. Like the press the breweries have been allowed to self police. They have laid down the rules by which they will operate. In a vast majority of instances the rules are not being followed. The rules laid down as far as I understand say that in a Brimfill glass, which constitutes the vast majority of glasses used in pubs today, the glass must be 95% full when it is put on the counter and If you ask them to top it up they must, without any quibble, do just that.

Note the top of the harp is 17% of the height of the glass so about 20% of the volume.


John said...

Hi Maffi,

I'll have to use the 'photo' trick to get my pint topped up. Although to be fair the overwhelming majority of staff, when I have to ask, do top up without a quibble.

What does really annoy me though are the staff who top my pint up and then always make sure I get a full pint, but continue to serve other customers with a short pint.

Why are you so shy in naming the pubs that serve you short pints? Especially if they then offer to top it up when they know it's going to be featured on a blog.


Malcolm said...

Hi Maffi
Since you took the time to explain the situation to me over a pint, I've asked for a top up on several occasions.
My request has variously been met with silence, a raised eyebrow, a sigh and even an accusation that I'd sipped some of it.Disappointing that nobody responded with a smile and an 'of course sir'.
So much for customer service.

Halfie said...

Perhaps it's the way you ask, Malcolm. I always ask for a top up if I get a short measure, and I have always got it, with no fuss. I'm always annoyed that I have to ask, though.

Steve said...

My barmaid daughter informs me a properly poured pint of Guinness is poured thus: -

First step – take a very clean and dry pint glass. Tip it at a 45-degree angle, pull the draft handle forward and fill the glass a little more than ¾ of the way full. In Ireland this is easy to demarcate because every pub has ample pint glasses etched with the golden Guinness harp to indicate proper placement – right at the harp’s belly.

Second step – the pint should rest aside for about 30 seconds or so while the trademark Guinness “surge” takes effect – a nitrogen-induced volcanic dance the beer does inside the glass transforming itself from a reactive milky chocolate brown color to a calm, deep, rich dark ruby.

Once the surge has settled and hopefully the bartender has taken advantage of the time to flirt with his/her patrons, a layer of creamy foam should have formed at the top of the pour. In total the foam should fall within the 11 and 15-millimeter range. For the final part of the pour, the keg handle is pushed away for a slower, more controlled flow as the glass is filled just until the creamy head is a millimeter or so above the top of the glass creating a slight dome.


Maffi said...

Steve the Guinness site shows that as the way to pour a pint but even they are wrong. A pint is a pint not 4/5 of a pint. It pubs want to serve it with a big head on then they should use line measure glasses instead of cheating the punters out of £40 million every year. Line measure glasses wouldnt cost £40 million a year.

You wouldnt like it if every time you paid for 50 ltrs of petrol they only delivered 40. It is exactly the same thing. Daylight robbery. Some pubs make a fortune outut of short measures. This should not be tolerated.