Skip to main content

Mine's a pint

These days I'm more inclined to go for a meal to a pub that does good food, rather than a restaurant. One of the main reasons for this is the matter of beer. I believe that a good glass of draught bitter is better with a fair number of foods - red meat, game, pies, sausages, offal - than pretty well any wine. Yet most restaurants simply don't serve decent beer. There are a number of reasons for this:
  1. Snobbery. It's considered beneath them to serve beer. I blame William the Conqueror - when the Normans invaded they introduced a class differential between wine and beer that has stuck to this day. And, of course, many restaurants have a continental European influence, and their idea of beer is lager (which itself is fine with many foods, but not in the same league).
  2. Ignorance. Your average wine waiter hasn't a clue about decent draught beers, and certainly wouldn't know how to keep one. Your best hope in most restaurants is a good bottled beer. But with bitter, the difference between a bottled beer and the stuff from a barrel is like the difference between wine from a box and wine from a bottle. These people, who sensibly wouldn't give a wine box room, are serving the equivalent in beer.
  3. Mark up. My suspicion is that this is the big one. Even in a seriously over-priced restaurant, it's hard to charge more than about £4 for a pint of beer. Wine can range from maybe £10 to £500 a bottle. Are they going to provide beer if they can get away without it? Nope.
Don't get me wrong. I'm very fond of wine. But any restaurant would be the better for hosting a good draught bitter.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope