Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Anyone remember the "Lady's" Glass?

When I first moved to England twenty odd years ago, I encountered something new. OK, I encountered a lot new, like zone tickets, cod, pints of bitter, parsnips, barm cakes, women who didn't wear woolly jumpers all the time, pubs with a best room, tombola, Eccles cakes, Chinese chippies, Birken'ead, footie (not fitbaw), Greenall Whitley, Higson's Bitter, The Docker's Club, Woolybacks, Derek Hatton and Militant, roast ox heart, pasties, lolly-ices and a shed load of scallies, but I also ran in to the phenomenon called the "lady's glass".

When you took your young woman (or anyone else's) to the pub in those days and asked for a pint and a half, the barperson would invariably ask "is the half in a lady's glass?". If you replied in the affirmative, the half pint came in a goblet. This practice may have been peculiar to Liverpool, I don't know. I think though it was more widespread than that, but it was a long time ago. Certainly by the time I moved to Manchester twenty years ago, it didn't happen there and doesn't happen now.

The Beautif
ul Beer beer people, have twenty years later re-invented this particular scouse wheel by introducing a tulip shaped glass for half pints, though in these politically correct days, they are unisex. The glass is aimed at women and men for certain occasions, such as drinking with a meal, as an alternative to the default "slim-jim" half pint glass.

Marketing manager Gareth Douglas said: “We felt the Beautiful Beer glass created a more stylish image of beer, making customers feel better about their choice of drink, and the pub itself." I am sure that is just why it was done in Scousely all these years ago, when I were a lad, but to be applauded just the same!

I am firmly of the ilk that believes that while you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, you can present beer better and make the experience thus more enjoyable. Good move!

13 comments:

Paul Garrard said...

It is indeed a good move. I hope it catches on. The glass you drink beer from is important to the overall enjoyment in my humble opinion.

Ewan said...

That doesn't seem entirely unlike the glasses in which they serve beer on the continent. One of the reasons I rarely order halfs -- and I concede this may be a shallow reason -- is because I don't like the glasses they come in (usually ones more suitable for a G&T).

The Beer Nut said...

Yes, I was quite surprised to discovered that, in England, halves come in slim-jims. They look awful and can't be much cop for giving off aroma. A stemmed glass is nice, though I do like those baby nonics you get sometimes.

'Course in Dublin you can now get your pint of stout in a stemmed glass. We're all ladies now, it seems.

Tyson said...

Ladies glass? I thought that was just what the barman always gave you!

Rednev said...

This custom is still alive, although I never realised it was unique to Merseyside. Just a couple of weeks ago in my local (the Guest House in Southport), I was asked whether a half I ordered was for a lady . As it was for my friend Ann, it was duly served in a stemmed glass.

Tyson said...

You do still get it around Mncr, but usually in more upmarket places, or where the barstaff are of the old-fashioned time. I went out with a girl who use to insist on it. On the other hand, a lot of womem see it as a sexist.

Tandleman said...

Well though I can't recall it in Manchester at all, I'm glad that Rednev still gets the old fashioned Merseyside service he deserves! Mind you I don't want to re-open the old "is Southport in Merseyside?" debate

The Southport Drinker said...

Red Nev beat me to it.

The Guest House almost always asks if a half is "for a lady". Usually the answer comes back "no, just my wife".

Dave Cunningham said...

I'm originally from Oldham, not (quite) 40 yet, and remember the lady's glass from my time behind the bar in the area. Not all places did it, but the more traditional/local places did in my experience.

YCC - Dubbel said...

Even down in the Dirty South I was asked this question recently. Even rarer is the 'straight or handled' question, which I have only been asked in a couple of select places.

Being a bit of a handpump whore and more often than not default driver, it's usually me with the half pints and the missus with her pint of lager - so I politely declined the lady's glass. I don't take issue with drinking out of a stemmed glass but believe that it would be met with horror and ridicule by a large proportion of younger male drinkers.

mwp said...

The glass is a crucial part of the drinking experience...anyone who doubts this should try drinking beer out of a polystyrene cup.

Breweries such as Fullers already serve their beer in individual glasses in their pubs, and I think it enhances the experience. ESB just tastes better to me served in their snifter-type glass than it would in a bog-standard pint glass.

The Belgians realised this years ago, and whilst things can be taken too far (witness the ridiculous Kwak glass, or more sinisterly, the serving of Stella in special 'goblet' glasses), there is something to be said for caring about how a quality product is presented.

simon said...

I was watching Minder today and Terry was drinking out of one in the Winchester club.

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