Sparklers, in summary

The Grey Horse, Manchester.

So, to sum­marise:

  • Sparklers work best with well-con­di­tioned beer, bring­ing some of c02 out of sus­pen­sion to form a denser head, but leav­ing plen­ty in the body of the pint.
  • But if a beer is low on con­di­tion, a sparkler might well rob it of what lit­tle CO2 it has, leav­ing it with a head, but even flat­ter beneath.
  • There­fore, sparklers might equal­ly be used to make beer in poor con­di­tion look bet­ter than it is, or to give a beer in good con­di­tion a par­tic­u­lar pre­sen­ta­tion.
  • But there’s no way for a drinker to know until they taste it.
  • Sparklers may also mute or oth­er­wise affect per­cep­tion of cer­tain flavours and aro­mas. Some beers are brewed with this in mind.
  • Oth­er­wise, it’s a mat­ter of per­son­al pref­er­ence.
  • So sparklers are nei­ther pure­ly good, not pure­ly evil.

Is that about it?

16 thoughts on “Sparklers, in summary”

  1. Sparklers also fre­quent­ly respon­si­ble for short mea­sure with brim-mea­sure glass­es.

  2. In the case of cask, more del­i­cate beers, often from south­ern brew­ers, Hook Nor­ton Bit­ter being one exam­ple, are thor­ough­ly wrecked by being forced through a sparkler, while more robust tast­ing high­er con­di­tioned beers tend to be brewed to taste bet­ter with a tighter head which releas­es volatile flavour­ings as aro­ma.

  3. I had some mild last week­end in a place I’m start­ing to think of as my local, and was asked if I want­ed it with or with­out the sparkler. The fact the issue was even raised is a point in favour of the pub. I declined as I don’t see mild (Hook Nor­ton as it hap­pens) as the kind of drink that mer­its a creamy head; it was fine just with some frothy bub­bles.

  4. Far too rea­soned and bal­anced an arti­cle, the south­ern heretics must repent and turn to the true path to enlight­en­ment!

  5. I sus­pect sparklers are in fact evil, but I’m no the­olo­gian. Cer­tain­ly they paved the way for nitro keg which is def­i­nite­ly the devil’s work.

  6. Leav­ing aside the judge­ments about good and evil, a pret­ty good sum­ma­tion of the sparkler debate, as far as I am con­cerned.

  7. Is this what they call click­bait? Any­way a nice attempt at UN style peace­keep­ing but, like the UN, inef­fec­tive. If Brex­it has taught us one thing; it’s that there is no heal­ing a divid­ed peo­ple. On one hand you have the well-mean­ing but mud­dled anti-sparkler folk and on the oth­er side: the enlight­ened pro-sparkler brigade.

    Sparklers like cli­mate change and vac­ci­na­tion have their denial­ists. I do feel for these peo­ple but it’s time to move on. The only sen­si­ble way to put an end to this internecine con­flict is for gov­ern­ment leg­is­la­tion mak­ing them com­pul­so­ry. That and prop­er edu­ca­tion in schools.

    1. Is this what they call click­bait?’

      No, click­bait is where you say: ‘You won’t believe what Tyson said about sparklers…’ and then when you get to the arti­cle it’s a non-sto­ry. Or it’s where you write some­thing delib­er­ate­ly to con­trary to wind peo­ple up. Don’t think this is either. Also, as we don’t sell ads, we’ve got no par­tic­u­lar rea­son to care about clicks.

  8. The most laugh­able com­ment for a while on the sub­ject “I don’t see mild (Hook Nor­ton as it hap­pens) as the kind of drink that mer­its a creamy head;”

    Yeah. Right.

  9. The sparklers debate is the most bizarre, irra­tional, region­al prej­u­dice by proxy debate I’ve ever wit­nessed. I’ve nev­er heard a ratio­nal opin­ion on sparklers. North­ern­ers feel duty bound to love then, south­ern­ers feel duty bound to hate them, and both make up ridicu­lous ex post ratio­nal­i­sa­tions to explain their idi­ot­ic prej­u­dices.

    1. Could it just pos­si­bly be the case that peo­ple base their pref­er­ence about sparklers on how the beer tastes?

      1. Almost cer­tain­ly not, no. If that was the case, you’d expect a ran­dom spa­tial dis­tri­b­u­tion of sparkler pref­er­ence, rather than the strict North South divide we see in real­i­ty.

        Hon­est­ly, talk about a daft ques­tion.

        1. Sparklers aren’t dis­trib­uted ran­dom­ly. I sus­pect peo­ple just devel­op a taste for what they’re used to.

  10. Most unusu­al use of a sparkler I have seen: Ship­yard Rye Pale Ale on keg.

    Knocked the car­bon­a­tion out of the kegged beer, gave it a pleas­ing appear­ance and left it with (good cask) lev­el con­di­tion. Allowed the malt to shine through. At a leav­ing do for work, and our group must have emp­tied the keg on our own.

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