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Soup Dragon
13-01-2010, 20:29
Now i have got your attention, I wanted to ask your thoughts on 'head'. I love a head on my beer and struggle with beer festival and 'flat' served beer, which is one reason why i cant jusge the Wellington in Brum - great pub (though pricey) but no head. Now, I am in the midlands, where i believe you SHOULD get head, i am finding it being served 'southern style'. Is it not easier to pour it with head and top it up if you dont want head, than to pour it flatter where you would have to put washing up liquid in it to liven it?

As this proves, i simply drink bear, i dont make it.

hopwas
13-01-2010, 20:35
Wow... I didn't realise people is that fussy. For me, I am not bothered as long it is good quality. Although 'flat' beer normally means dodgy and past its best but actually I don't mind.

Oh you mentioned Welly is pricey.. go to :notworthy::notworthy::notworthy: few doors down ;) should save you fortune

Tilly-Miss
13-01-2010, 20:37
Now i have got your attention, I wanted to ask your thoughts on 'head'. I love a head on my beer and struggle with beer festival and 'flat' served beer, which is one reason why i cant jusge the Wellington in Brum - great pub (though pricey) but no head. Now, I am in the midlands, where i believe you SHOULD get head, i am finding it being served 'southern style'. Is it not easier to pour it with head and top it up if you dont want head, than to pour it flatter where you would have to put washing up liquid in it to liven it?

As this proves, i simply drink bear, i dont make it.

You drink bear ?????? no wonder there is no head

Tilly-Miss
13-01-2010, 20:40
You should sample some of the crap they serve round south and charge 3:80 pint and call it lager, shampoo would come to mind.

Millay
13-01-2010, 20:57
You drink bear ?????? no wonder there is no head

:D:D That reminds me of many many years ago, early 1980's. I was in the US with a few mates and one of them spotted a Beer Farm in the distance. He set off early one morning to walk there and take a look. When he got there he realised it was a Bear Farm, he started wearing glasses shortly after that.

oldboots
13-01-2010, 20:59
I don't see that much "flat" southern beer on my occasional trips down there. The almost universal use of swan necks, sparklers and thin pipework has done away with the old fashioned loose southern head - I blame that Sykes woman and that bloody Boddingtons advert. The only places I usually see no head is where the beer is straight from the cask. I don't mind either way as long as they don't take the pi55 with some huge head and I know you can ask for a top up but I did that in a well regarded pub in Lincoln once and nearly punched the barman because of his attitude and ill grace about it. Of course I do expect a lot of head now having been corrupted by these evil tykes :D

We could argue about whither flat means no head or no condition (CO2 gas bubbles), the head on cask beer is not from condition but from air introduced by the serving mechanism unlike keg beers or pop where it's the gas and heading agents. There is an argument that a tight sparkler knocks so much of the natural CO2 out of the beer that it is really "flat" (as in no condition) in spite of the shaving foam look.

There's no doubt a pint with a head looks a lot more drinkable than one without.

runningdog
13-01-2010, 21:05
There's no doubt a pint with a head looks a lot more drinkable than one without.

Southerner I may be, but I agree with you 'ob', it does look better. But, on the whole I'm with young hoppy, it's the quality, not the style, wot counts..........:cheers:

Eddie86
13-01-2010, 21:22
1) No sparklers except for stouts

2) Pour with swan necks properly - with the spout fully in the glass for the whole pour

I grew up in the trade learning that no head meant a problem - old beer, under-conditioned beer or beer that's too cold. Therefore use a sparkler to disguise such beer. I now realise this isn't the case (always) and that some beers are actually brewed to be poured through a sparkler (sparkler knocks out CO2, making beer sweeter, hence northern beers traditionally being brewed more bitter than southern ones - can't remember where I learnt that from, but in the GBG in the brewery section you'll see a symbol for whether an ale should be poured with a sparkler or not.

We cheat though, we use lined glasses. Although I am starting to get tired of pointing out what this means when the bar staff politely say no to a top up

hondo
14-01-2010, 07:30
did someone order a foaming head

117

hopwas
14-01-2010, 08:02
did someone order a foaming head

117

Just like PG's logo...

RogerB
14-01-2010, 08:14
When Greene King experimented with their St Edmunds Ale a couple of years back with their Northern / Southern pull contraption, I tried a pint of each version in the Dog & Partridge, Bury St Edmunds. Both me, Mrs B and the mate I was with preferred the the northern version with the head. Chatting to the very lovely but typically dopey barmaid (as you do), she informed me that most people in the pub came to the same conclusion. Of course, the other 99.9% of the drinking population prefer another brewery's beer altogether but that's for another thread.

arwkrite
14-01-2010, 08:20
I like a full pint of liquid , in a lined glass , which tastes as the brewer intended. It should also be fit for purpose in that should I wish to get plastered ( Heaven Forbid:whistle:) it will do the job. Well thats the basics.
A nice head is aesthetically pleasing but does not make up for short measure. There is no argument with a lined glass. I seem to remember that on some keg taps if ,at the end of pouring the pint, you pushed the toggle back a creamy head was supposed to appear on the pint. The less fussy bar staff pull a pint glass full of beer and bubbles and dump it in front of you. They could not be bothered if it settles properly. At one time I would have made a comment about topping it off with a glace' cherry but I am perhaps older and wiser now.

Eddie86
14-01-2010, 08:44
The modern phrase is 'can I have a flake with that' - in Hay anyway!

Farway
14-01-2010, 14:10
I'm with runningdog on this one, as another Southerner I grew up with no head beer and one with a head was normally the publican giving a short measure

But the taste is the thing of course

runningdog
14-01-2010, 16:23
The modern phrase is 'can I have a flake with that' - in Hay anyway!

Mine is usually, 'Is that vanilla?'. It's mostly wasted, but one lass, quicker than than most, came back with 'I'll try the kitchen'..........

Oggwyn Trench
14-01-2010, 17:12
I prefer a head , though on the rare occasions i am down south i drink it without but it usually has a light covering of froth not completly flat . Last time i was in Leeds (years ago) i got served a pint with what looked like a Meringue on top .

PaulOfHorsham
14-01-2010, 22:11
Aaah! Sparklers! Can't be doing with the things - they seem to drive all flavour out of the beer. Well, not in all cases, but in far too many, although I have to admit to being an irregular traveller to Northern England. Seems to me that, in the Midlands (well, Leicester, anyway - once again, my experience is not extensive), they use what might be termed a 'light' sparkler, so you don't have to fight your way through the froth to get to the liquid.

Beer in London served 'northern style' is often an indicator of a pub that's trying to sell you less than a full pint, as they're unlikely to be using a lined glass.

Finally, though, properly conditioned ale served through a handpump ought to have some head on it. Try a visit to somewhere like the Evening Star (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/10425/) in Brighton and you'll have to wait for the beer to settle before it's topped up. That's just excellent quality ale.

That's my two-pints worth, anyway.

Farway
15-01-2010, 08:07
Thanks Paul for the nod about Evening Star in Brighton, I wlll make that number one on my list for my Brighton stopover via 700 bus from Pompey

aleandhearty
15-01-2010, 11:02
some beers are actually brewed to be poured through a sparkler (sparkler knocks out CO2, making beer sweeter, hence northern beers traditionally being brewed more bitter than southern ones - can't remember where I learnt that from,

Eddie, I think it was here: www.roosters.co.uk/faq.htm. I transcribed it for a similar debate elsewhere.

As someone who has lived in West Yorkshire most of my life, it's not surprising I prefer beer with a head. It's personal preference borne out of familiarity with a regional style of serving. I think the key is to respect the difference. If I drink down south I respect that the beers are brewed to be served without a head. End of. What I struggle with is people drinking Northern beer, in the North, and asking for the sparkler to be taken off. They are altering the balance of the beer and being intolerant of regional diversity in beer culture.

I love the texture of a head on beer. With porter for example that texture seems to come from within the beer, the head is not something that sits scum like on top. A lot of Northern beers are brewed to have that 'integral texture' and that is why I and many others find it so easy to drink.

Dave M
15-01-2010, 13:10
I was just at the Portsmouth CAMRA site (http://psehcamra.org.uk/) researching the Gosport beer festival and noticed the 'Spot the Difference' on the front page.

Shouldn't they be advising people to make sure it is not a lined glass before phoning Trading Standards?

Farway
15-01-2010, 13:57
Dave, you are no doubt right, but in this case both glasses are clearly marked Pint

I once had a ruler thingy that measured the head on a pint, and costed it to pennies shortchanged by the pub, probably more of a Southern problem where little or nil head is expected, hence the Pompey CAMRA

I do think Trading Standards is a bit OTT though, unless bar person was trained at the Basil Fawlty pub persona school

runningdog
15-01-2010, 14:52
I love the texture of a head on beer. With porter for example that texture seems to come from within the beer, the head is not something that sits scum like on top. A lot of Northern beers are brewed to have that 'integral texture' and that is why I and many others find it so easy to drink.

A prime example of that is Old Peculiar. Serve it without a sparkler and it is as flat as last nights Dandelion and Burdock. With one it is almost as much a delight to the eye as the taste buds.
My preference is for dark beers and a pet hate for me is the bloke who either assumes I'm drinking Guinness or sez 'That looks just like Guinness'. I must stand in front of a mirror and practice the look on the girls face in the Golf ad when told 'If you listen very carefully, it sounds just like a Golf
After all, if I'm drinking Old Peculiar why the hell should I want something that only looks like it?:drinkup::drinkup:
:whistle: I think that makes sense

runningdog
15-01-2010, 14:57
Farway, deliberate thread drift this, but I keep meaning to ask. Does Horndean seem empty without Gales?

Farway
16-01-2010, 09:51
Farway, deliberate thread drift this, but I keep meaning to ask. Does Horndean seem empty without Gales?

Yes, it is like a ghost town, never was much of a place TBH, once Gales went the Co-op followed [guess lot of their customers worked in the brewery?]

So all there is a somewhat seedy shopping arcade, which seems to only have chuckaways in it

Oddly enough the Red Lion has had a spruce up & new Premier Inns hotel tacked on their car park, so some new trade is around

The Brewery is still up for development, no idea when or what as yet

runningdog
16-01-2010, 20:51
Yes, it is like a ghost town.....Oddly enough the Red Lion has had a spruce up

It did look a bit rundown when I drove through a week or two before Christmas. I miswrote my original question, ment to add 'to you' so it didn't quote come out as I inteded it to. Still an all, I got the answer my question. I tried the Red Lion that day, had a more than decent HSB. Always one of my favourite beers and I have to say I think Fullers are making a good job of it. Small mercies, what!

:drinkup::drinkup:

micky1234
17-01-2010, 10:27
when down in Ashburton in Devon I used a pub called the Red Lion .. smashing place it was too .. full of ex-pirates and the like .. however the chief bitter on offer was Pedigree wich was served without a head .. instead there was a slime like topping resembling spilt petro lying in puddles on a rainy day at a Murco forecourt .. disgusting to look at but you a) got a full measure and b) got pissed .. a more deadly offering was the inches white cider on tap .. looked horrible tasted horrible and would in time disolve you .. it was cheaper than the Pedigree though ..l

Farway
17-01-2010, 12:32
It did look a bit rundown when I drove through a week or two before Christmas. I miswrote my original question, ment to add 'to you' so it didn't quote come out as I inteded it to. Still an all, I got the answer my question. I tried the Red Lion that day, had a more than decent HSB. Always one of my favourite beers and I have to say I think Fullers are making a good job of it. Small mercies, what!

:drinkup::drinkup:

Oh, the spruce up was ages before that, must have gone retro :D

If you are likely to be going by again drop us a line [pm] and maybe we could sample some together, even try the Havant Brewery "Finished" perhaps

runningdog
18-01-2010, 15:00
If you are likely to be going by again drop us a line [pm] and maybe we could sample some together, even try the Havant Brewery "Finished" perhaps

Hold on to that thought..........:drinkup:

Wittenden
18-01-2010, 18:19
Now i have got your attention, I wanted to ask your thoughts on 'head'. I love a head on my beer and struggle with beer festival and 'flat' served beer, which is one reason why i cant jusge the Wellington in Brum - great pub (though pricey) but no head. Now, I am in the midlands, where i believe you SHOULD get head, i am finding it being served 'southern style'. Is it not easier to pour it with head and top it up if you dont want head, than to pour it flatter where you would have to put washing up liquid in it to liven it?

As this proves, i simply drink bear, i dont make it.

You shouldn't mention barmaids and head in the same breath, but one of my formative influences in beer drinking and heads on beer was dear old Katie, the grandmotherly barmaid of the Biddenden Red Lion. The beer was Fremlins, served by gravity from stillages out the back: I don't know how she did it, but each pint had a loose, fluffy head about one to two inches above the top of the beer.I suppose tiptop condition, coupled with adept use of spile and tap. Happy days. Once the stillage went, and the back bar was turned over to dining, the whole magic left.

Soup Dragon
18-01-2010, 18:22
You shouldn't mention barmaids and head in the same breath, but one of my formative influences in beer drinking and heads on beer was dear old Katie, the grandmotherly barmaid of the Biddenden Red Lion. The beer was Fremlins, served by gravity from stillages out the back: I don't know how she did it, but each pint had a loose, fluffy head about one to two inches above the top of the beer.I suppose tiptop condition, coupled with adept use of spile and tap. Happy days. Once the stillage went, and the back bar was turned over to dining, the whole magic left.

Sorry mate, i often think of the two at the same time:love: