Monday, 30 March 2015

Ring My Bell

It is early doors in one of Milan's busiest craft beer bars.  The place is heaving, with Italian locals and our mixed group of Brits and Italians.  Service is appallingly slow, but the bar staff seem to be happily enjoying themselves, even if some of the desperate customers aren't.  A bell rings at seemingly random intervals, rung by a cheery barman and of course, Brits being Brits a chorus of "Last Orders" immediately strikes up. But closing time is hours away.  We don't know what the bell ringing is about, but it becomes background as we carry on supping and chatting.

Later, elsewhere, one of our party, a veteran of Milan - which unaccountably many seem to be - it isn't the most beautiful of Italian cities - explains to us that the bell is rung whenever a good looking girl enters the premises or approaches the bar. It's just what they do in some places it seems. To prove the point, it happens in another very busy craft bar the next day too.  Meantime, in the sports bar which is the pub nearest to the apartment in which we are staying, the busy place is run with incredible charm and efficiency almost entirely by young women.  They dispense beer and food at lightning speed and there is a smile for everyone. No bells are rung here.

Ordinary everyday sexism or just Italian charm? You judge, but I preferred to get my beer quickly, with a smile. I bet the women do too, though it was good to see so many young women happily drinking beer.

The more crafty the bar, the worse the service was.  These places are incredibly popular in Milan and maybe, just maybe, it goes to the head of those serving and operating the bars.  Staff were all male in the craft bars as far as I can recall.

Ever seen Carlsberg Special Brew on draught? Me neither and I didn't try it.


Erlangernick said...

So what was on in the girl-run place?

Cooking Lager said...

I hope you wore your Harriet Harman "I am a feminist T shirt" to show that sexism has no place in the beer world and to show the beer blogosphere is united in condemnation in regard to beer sexism. I wear mine whenever I go out on the piss.

Jeffrey Bell said...

To a large degree what is apparently slow service is down to how the Italian craft places pour the beer (alla Tedesco I think is how it's termed) - lengthy set and pour in the German style. Now that works fine in pubs in Bohemia and Bavaria where everyone's drinking the same beer and the tapman just keeps up with demand in the pub generally. But when, as in Lambrate etc, there are loads of beers on tap it means you wait ages for a bev. You just get used to it though.

Tandleman said...

Jeff: Indeed. I have a story on that too in a further post. Having just one barman while two others fuck about ringing bells and just watching the chaos while not serving doesn1t help either.

ABrewHaHa said...

you obviously had your eyes closed in Lambiczoom.

Strange said...

"It was good to see so many young women happily drinking beer."???

You've obviously never been down Blackpool on a Saturday night. Sometimes you can even spot them eating peanuts as they crawl along the floor—Okay I exagerate, but not by much :~)