Weird bar staff quirks

Here are a couple of oddities we’ve come across lately.

1. The barman who warned us not to mix the sediment from our St Austell clouded yellow into the glass with the beer or we’d “end up very poorly”. That’s clouded yellow. It’s a British take on a Bavarian wheat beer, and the bottle advises that it can be served with or without the yeast sediment mixed in. Yet more evidence of the British fear of suspended yeast and its supposedly poisonous qualities.

2. The barmaid who thought we weren’t looking when she held a sparkler near the pump in the last few seconds as she pulled the pint to lively up the head. She didn’t attach it, she just held it in place while she put the finishing touches to our pints. Without this bit of weird jiggery-pokery, we suspect they would have been completely flat.

UPDATE 27/07/2012: we spotted another barmaid in a St Austell pub doing more-or-less the same thing with the sparkler only, this case, she stopped when she had the glass two-thirds full, fixed the sparkler properly, and then finished the pint. We asked why and she said: “Because Proper Job is a bit lively. If you leave the sparkler on the whole time, it gets too much head. This is the best of both worlds.” So, there you go, we got it wrong first time round.

13 thoughts on “Weird bar staff quirks”

  1. I’m no expert on sparklers (or anything else…) but I understand they can whip up a head from next to nothing. It didn’t last long after we’d sat down, though.

    Any sparkler nerds want to correct me?

  2. I can’t picture this. It seems to me like she would need three hands to hold a sparkler in place while pulling beer into a glass.

  3. Barm — trying to picture it myself, now. She must have rested the glass on something, I think. Or, as you say, she had three hands.

  4. Sure you can produce a head but the actual beer is still going to be flat. A sparkler has the same effect as whisking, so you’ll get your nice hop oils in the bubbles on top, but flat sparkled beer is still going to be flat. Am I wrong?

  5. TBN — my mistake there. I’m taking that it has a head to mean it’s not flat when, as you say, all it means is it has a head and doesn’t *look* flat.

  6. The BN has the right of it. A sparkler is only of use when the beer has the appropriate condition. You got a flat pint wit a ‘ead on it as they might say in Scousely.

  7. I am shocked at your denial of one of the more subtle uses of beer-a-phanalia yet: pouring your beer in the shadow of a sparkler.

  8. That sediment thing reminds me of a elderly lady in Prague on a tram complaining on a steaming hot day that I opened the window. Her line of, erm, reasoning was that a cool draft goes in your ear and kills you dead.

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