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27-11-2013, 14:45
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If like me you prefer your advice to be solicited, you may be slightly put out by bar staff offering guidance. Things such as "I like that one" when you are surveying the range of beers are, to me at least, a little bit unwelcome. While I may well turn to a trusted palate, generally what someone else likes, without knowing their predilections, is likely to be just as hit and miss as guessing and turning down their advice politely makes you seem churlish. Of course helpful advice such as "it is pale and hoppy, dark and stouty" etc. is more useful, but these can be written on a board and that, frankly is better, though hardly foolproof.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1M3fM5WqIbM/UpYDovDMyUI/AAAAAAAAFZY/3Dn9kYpM9ac/s1600/sparkler5.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1M3fM5WqIbM/UpYDovDMyUI/AAAAAAAAFZY/3Dn9kYpM9ac/s1600/sparkler5.jpg)A couple of things occurred on Saturday which I'll share with you. In one pub after enjoying two sparkled pints of the same beer, I was so impressed with it and since neither me nor my companion were intent on moving on, why not order another? I looked around me, taking in the scene, as my pints were poured, not by the charming young lass who'd patiently offered us tasters, but by a bebearded hipster type. I looked at my pint. No head. I looked at the handpump. The sparkler had been removed. "What's going on. Where's the sparkler gone?" I asked. "I took it off" quoth he, "the brewer doesn't like sparklers."

Now that may or may not be the case and anyway, a brewer's preference is just like mine. A preference. He isn't Moses. It isn't written in tablets of stone. Bad form to change a customer's beer in that way mid stream and anyway, Manchester is the North and beer here is sparkled as a default. Later in a different pub, the reverse happened. Well sort of. There was no sparkler on my Buxton beer and when I asked for one, the barmaid tossed her head and advised me that "it doesn't need one." Hmm.

It goes back to the old adage that the customer is always right (even when he is wrong) and anyway, there is a simple way round presumption. Just ask.

Can I also slip in a big recommendation for Young's Winter Warmer? I only had a half, but it was delicious.

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