Minesweep - The Urban Dictionary
- To "minesweep" is to wander through a location where people are drinking, such as a bar or a party, and drink the partially-finished beverages that people abandoned.
On Frantic Friday or whatever the last Friday before Christmas Day is called, as I mentioned before here, my oldest mate and I did a little tour of some of Manchester City Centre's more traditional pubs. There can't be many more so than those that we picked and all gratifyingly close together. First up was the tiny Grey Horse where Hydes Bitter was very decent. We sat in a corner for three pints watching punters come and go and stay. Most were middle aged to old and obviously regulars, given that they were greeted by name. A few younger people squeezed in including a table full of very attractive women - we are male and we liked that. It was cosy and comfortable and we had to tear ourselves away.
A few doors away is Holt's Old Monkey. A bit of a more boisterous crowd there and amiable enough bouncers on the door. We stood at the short end of the bar as a great array of people swept in and out. Holt's IPA was very decent, the barstaff worthy of our tips and the punters, in full Christmas cheer, happy to exchange banter with us as we moved aside to let them get served. Great stuff again, with an almost entirely male clientèle, but in that moment, none the worse for that. We did also brave Wetherpoons Waterhouse for a couple, as they had a great selection on and despite the crush at the bar, I astonished my mate Mike by having two pints in hand by the time he'd returned from the bog. All my old elbowing skills, an eye for a gap and blatant queue jumping standing me in excellent stead. This was more clearly full of occasional drinkers, but none the worse for that, even if judging by the decibels, a few young ladies present had clearly imbibed well, if not wisely.
Back to traditional in the shape of the City Arms, next door to JDW. Greatly liked by a more mature, middle class crowd, we managed to get a couple of pints and jump into a bench as two others left. Beside us was a rather elderly, down at heel gent - possibly homeless - who had a flat looking pint in front of him and who was taking surreptitious spoonfuls of bio yoghurt from a big pot which he held under the table. Astonishingly he also had a punnet of strawberries which he ate from time to time while winking at us who couldn't help but observe. As we supped our Jaipur, we noted his occasional forays across the pub to nab half finished pints from those that left. This was done quite openly and he simply topped his glass up with whatever was to hand. He seemed quite at peace there really and didn't draw attention to himself as such. I don't know if the barstaff knew here was there, but I suspect they did and took pity on him.
By the time we left my mate Mike had had enough. He donated around a half of Jaipur to our companion. True Christmas spirit indeed.
Note to drunks. Bio yoghurt and strawbwrries may not be the nest bar snack to ward off pissedness, but it has a certain touch of class.
I kind of thought minesweeping a dying art. Anyone else spotted it recently?
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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