Friday, 19 September 2008

Mugged!


Yesterday after calling in at the Co-op to chat to the Hall Manager about the National Winter Ales Festival, me and the Organiser, my mate Graham - did I ever mention I am Deputy Organiser? - went on a wander round the Northern Quarter of Manchester. I won't bore you with details except to mention one incident, which still has me shaking my head with disbelief.

Bar Fringe on Swan St is a kind of Belgian style bar which is very popular and has long been in the Good Beer Guide. It also sells four or five cask ales. We often call in on our travels, though the beer never reaches the heights it could and some of the staff can be attitudinally challenged. Last night was a case in point. I had a very dodgy pint of Holden's Pirate, clearly past its best and getting cardboardy and oxidised while Graham's Allgates didn't seem to be pulling through. A few more tugs on the handpump and he was told "Hang on, the cask needs tilting". (I don't think I've ever encountered that in a pub.) This was duly done and a murky pint presented. Graham brought it back to where I was sitting. It was clearly all "bottoms" and was not fit to drink. He took it back along with mine. A few seconds later he was back. His request for replacements was summarily rejected with the words "you are not getting a free pint here". He even had to endure the charade of the two young barmaids tasting "his" beer and pronouncing it "fine". Given that we had paid for two undrinkable pints, we left, pints virtually untouched, a fiver poorer and a lot wiser.

Needless to say, we won't be going back and indeed may not be welcome back as I've a feeling that sooner or later, we'll get the blame for this piece of nonsense -it's that kind of place.
I am happy for them to prove me wrong of course!

Liking to provide a contrast, the excellent barmaid in the nearby Angel, insisted on us trying all three cask beers before we purchased and was a credit to the place. The beers were in tip top condition too. Well done!

6 comments:

Tyson said...

It's taken some time but you've finally learnt-do not go to the Fringe if you want decent cask beer. In the GBG,don't make me laugh...

Tandleman said...

Well yes. Guilty. But in mitigation Graham quite likes the craic with the barstaff though I have always felt he didn't get the deep unpleasantness lurking just below the surface. It was ironic that the one he liked to banter with was his nemesis. I'd have revelled in the schadenfreude if I hadn't been sharing in it!

It may have cost a fiver, but we are cured now!

Anonymous said...

It boils down to theft in my opinion. The kind of thing I hate in a pub.

Tandleman said...

So do I.

Rednev said...

This is utterly bizarre. The last time I had such an argument in a pub was at least 20 years ago, and I had long assumed (obviously wrongly) that such nonsense was a thing of the past. It's not because I'm a wilting violet: I always take my pint back if it's not acceptable.

Tandleman said...

Rednev. It shows that some pubs have a long way to go yet, but I should and do emphasise, it is not typical. That's why I mentioned the contrasting experience in the Angel (formerly Beer House).