During a recent visit to the United Kingdom, I had the pleasure of meeting a very unique and, some might say, opinionated Brit.
Of all the items that we discussed, his disdain for being served incorrectly by barfolk was the one that shown brightest.
He's been called a "Branded Glass Fundamentalist" by his friends. We, though, should refer to him as a "Working Glass Hero".
His story is below (in original form).
A Branded Glass Fundamentalist?
A man walks into a bar. Asks for a beer. Nothing fancy. The Barman serves him. In a very nice branded glass. But it’s the wrong branded glass.
Now if that man happened to be me, my heart would sink. I my humble opinion, there’s something fundamentally wrong with serving a beer (or any drink for that matter) in the wrong branded glass.
I’ve been called a ‘saddo’, fair enough, I’ve no reasonable argument oppose that. I’ve been called a pedant, perhaps I am. I’ve even been called a branded glass fundamentalist, but it has nothing to do with my foibles. It actually boils down to poor service, poor presentation and a general disrespect for both the product and the customer.
The last time that I was particularly unimpressed, I was served a pint of that wonderful German nectar Jever Pilsner. I was chuffed beyond comprehension to see it on tap at the bar and I could see the beautifully styled Jever glass tankards sitting there. This was going to be a first class drinking experience!
But it wasn’t! Why? Well, the barman reached for the first convenient glass, a Brookyn Brewery glass to be precise, and proceeded to poor my Jever in this particular vessel.
“Don’t you have the appropriate glass?” I ask.
“They’re all dirty” was the response.
I said no more, but I’m sure my face did.
My problem was not that there were no clean glasses available, of course I don’t want to drink from a dirty glass. But for me it’s simply lazy and slap-dash to reach for the most convenient glass to hand. It generally wouldn’t happen in Germany or Belgium for example, so why here in Britain?
If I’d been presented my pint in a non branded glass, I could live with that - that’s fair enough, at least I’d feel the person serving me has given some thought about how best to pour and present my beer. But to pour it in the especially styled glass of another brewery is, as I have already said, simply disrespectful.
It’s not just disrespectful to me as a customer, it’s disrespectful to the beer, the brewer, and also to the brewery whose glass is being inappropriately used. I’d hazard a guess that brewery wouldn’t be best pleased about it either.
Imagine ordering a pint of Erdinger, or Thornbridge Jaipur and having it presented in a Carling glass. I haven’t asked them, and I don’t know for a fact if either Erdinger, Thornbri or Carling would have as big a gripe as I do, but I suspect they wouldn’t be best pleased.
Imagine, every time you pick up your glass to take a mouthful of a beautifully crafted IPA, you’re presented with the insignia of ‘Britain’s no. 1 lager’. I know that my brain wouldn’t be able to comprehend with what’s conflicting between eyes and taste buds. But on the other side of the coin, would a Carling drinker want his pint in an Erdinger glass? I seriously suspect not.
The thing is that us punters and the breweries really have little say in the matter, it’s the link-pin that bares the responsibility to dispense and present the product in the correct manner. Frankly, it’s a responsibility that’s not taken seriously enough.
Surely British pubs and bars have to recognise that, with the emergence of more and more sensational craft breweries and beers, there needs to be a greater respect for the product in general, the same respect that’s given to wines and champagnes for instance.
“Oh just get it down your neck” I hear you cry!
Well I will, but I’ll enjoy it much more if the establishment dispensing it afford both me and the product the respect we rightly deserve.
If you would like to follow the rantings of this Working Glass Hero, follow him on Twitter at @WorkinGlassHero.
Join our Facebook page (Working Glass Heroes) devoted to a group of like minded individuals concerned with getting the beer the they paid for in a glass the represents the beer and not a competitors beer. Or just a blank glass.