History repeats itself, or at least, things that have happened in the past bubble up to the surface again. Sometimes they creep under your skin and cause annoyance. Now when I was a lad it was simple. If you bought a pint of beer, the corresponding half was exactly half the price. It was an easy to understand system and it worked. Of course there was always a little bit of margin creep. When I worked in the pub, most beers were priced in odd numbers. We didn't deal in half pences - and yes we did have them under decimalisation - and thus the odd half pence margin went the publicans way. Nobody liked half pence coins, so it was almost a public service and everyone was reasonably content with it.
I wrote in this piece here about what I called "Irish Arithmetic". That is charging a wildly different price than half the pint price for a half pint. I was and am agin it, with the proviso that a little light rounding in favour of the publican is OK. Like the old half pence, nobody is that keen on having a pocket full of five pences, so being consistent, I don't mind a pint at, say, £2.75 being charged at £1.40 a half. This came to my mind once more when I was trying a new beer recently. Tasters weren't offered, so wisely I chose a half. "One fifty" chirruped the barmaid. I liked the beer, so ordered a pint. "£2.75 please" quoth she.
Now don't give me all that guff about it costing more to dish up a half than a pint and other such mealy mouthed excuses. Or to accuse me of meanness or cheapness. It is sharp practice. It discriminates against smaller measures or those wishing to try several beers; it is annoying and most of all, it just isn't right.
So, publicans. Please keep the little mark up in your favour within bounds. My contribution from now on, will be to name names where it happens to excess.
Look at the comments on the previous piece about this. Interesting comments from the Beer Nut.
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
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