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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

Comments are closed.