The Great North/South Divide - to sparkle or not to sparkle!
I had a conversation with one of my new regulars last night about the use of sparklers. He’s from the Midlands and they use sparklers there but had been visiting a friend in Weston-Super-Mare and as real ale drinkers had gone to their local for a few.
He was presented with a flat pint. He said the beer tasted lovely, but he was really put off drinking it to begin with by the look of it. And I know they’re not supposed to be but looks are important, aren’t they?
Every pub I’ve worked in has used a sparkler and I’d always taken it that they were part and parcel of pouring a pint – I didn’t realise you could pour one without a sparkler.
It was only since taking on the Spinners that I even realised there were different sizes of sparkler holes! (if you don’t know, the black sparkler has larger holes for a moderate head and the white sparkler has finer holes and creates a tight creamy head).
"Changing your sparkler can help if you’re having issues with the way your pint is pouring by the way".
If you google ‘sparklers’, you get hoards of blogs & opinions on whether they’re good or bad (although it seems that most beer bloggers are from down South and hate them!). Apparently, using a sparkler reduces hop flavours and gives the beer a creamier mouthfeel and not using one makes the pint a bit ‘rawer’.
I guess it’s subjective and depends on where you grew up but what does it mean for your customers? What do your staff do if a customer asks them to take the sparkler off (or put it on!) Do they know what it’s for?
Mind you, it could be a great starting point to a ‘It’s better up North’ conversation across the bar :)