Monday, 27 October 2008

A pint- the only thing

Well after such interesting thoughts on 2/3 of a pint on Tandlemans blog, I thought I might share my thoughts on The Pint.

I am a chef, as well as a brewer and publican. As a chef I understand the importance of sampling a whole dish as it will be delivered to the customer. You can taste the sauce and a bit of the meat, check the vegetables are correctly salted and cooked just right, but the whole effect is just not apparent until you've tried the whole dish - is it balanced?

A beer is the same. You can have a taster. Maybe even 1/3 pint. But until you have had a full, imperial pint measure, the whole volume as consumed by most beer drinkers, you have not appreciated the full effect of the beer.

Now as a brewer and publican, I have the rather arduous job of performing this task - testing the beers. Every beer I have on my bar is sampled, in the full pint, to the line you understand, head extra. Because real ale can go "off" so quickly, it is important to do this every day. When you have 6 hand pulls running then every one has to be sampled every day in full pint samples.

Boy, its a tough job - but I do it for you, the discerning beer drinker - the problem is, some beers are just tooo good to stop at one pint........

Tonight just 4:

Stout Tenacity - Hardknott
Saazy Lamm - Hardknott
Wicked Jimmey - Cumbrian Legendary Ales
Old Faithful - Tirrel

Wicked Jimmey is my favourite out of these.


beermanwalking said...

This flies contrary to my training at the Woolpack. I was instructed to simply inspect a single pull, the first pull of the day, for off-tastes, and never to consume the entire pull. I understand that some beer engines (like many Angrams) pull a half pint. Are you suggesting that I clear not only the cylinder and swan's neck, but a half pint's worth of beer line? Just to see if the ale has gone sour? My England Worthsides only pull 1/4 pint, and I just give it a simple sniff and sip.

It appears that I need some more training, which might become affordable if the pound continues its downward spiral. And I'm really sorry about that. I haven't seen a similar exchange like that since '91 when we came to the UK for the first time. I hope you can still make it out here.

The Woolpack Inn said...

Ah, now limiting the tasting on first opening up the bar to a small mouthful is sensible, well, on the grounds of remaining sensible. This is perhaps is difficult for you and I to do beerman, as the starting point, without any taster is far from sensible.........

At the end of the evening, you owe it to your beer drinkers to put a more serious effort into sampling the beers. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. I didn't specify this in your basic training as I was afraid this might have put you off.

I will be visiting your worthy pub as the air tickets are now purchased. I am sort of hoping that there may be a kind soul who has the means of minimising the financial burden by guiding this wayward Englishman to the best value beer trading establishments.

Hopefully, the trip will be a great research project and give loads of material for this blog. Providing your Apple Mac WiFi system is happy to have a lowly Microsoft system attached to it.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

All attempts will be made to minimize costs, such as borrowing a 12-passenger van and cramming 10 people into a three-bedroom house. The burden I've taken upon myself to visit and re-visit quality and best value beer trading establishments shall likewise reap its dividends.

And I did sample four pints after I finished brewing last night - two drawn from the same pull. I had a customer say last week that Union Dew was "the best beer I've ever had", so I had to verify.

In contrast, and in relation to your blog entry about being Held Ransom, I've had to deal with customers such as the three large hunter gents who crunched down at the bar in front of the pulls and said "gimme a pitcher of Coors Lite". Now, three points in critique of this verbal imperative form in my mind:

1) It would be pleasant to hear the word "please" as an element of the sentence construct.

2) What is a pitcher? This is an undefined volume. It can be anywhere from 32 oz. to 64 oz. You might as well say "gimme some Coors Lite".

3) What I want to say is something like: "This establishment strives to serve fresh, quality, locally-produced products. The Coors Brewing Company satisfies none of these requirements."

I can't remember what I said, but I know it didn't have the word "sorry" in it.

The Woolpack Inn said...

And you've started your own blog!!

..but no posts yet???

Beer blether said...

Woolpack, on behalf of us discerning drinkers throughout the nation, I would just like to say thank you for applying such a rigourous,demanding and selfless tasting schedule. (-:

Wurst aka Whorst said...

Hello, my name is Wurst, aka Whorst. I'm a controversial character in the beer blog community. I'm wondering if you'd be willing to share any information regarding your beers? Mainly, what is your house yeast at the Woolpack? Also, do you have an outlet for green chili's? I'm talking about the long ones. They have great capsaicin flavor, with just a tad of heat. If so, I can provide a killer recipe for green chili stew. Would be great with a nice, hoppy pint.

The Woolpack Inn said...


I've seen you around. You are what I would describe as a colourful character! Being controversial is good, just be careful on my blog not to use language that is colourful, that will get your comments rejected. After that be as controversial as you like!!

I am always happy to share information about my beers.

I don't use any special yeast. We have a very low production level of ale and so we can't pitch on and it's not viable to have live yeast delivered to us. We use dried Nottingham. It's reliable.

Our beer is special because we use filtered peat bog water, complete with all the acids and organics that you would expect.

They are also special because I brew them..

I've never considered putting chills in beer, I've used ginger and that works really well..

Perhaps you meant in food.. I often put a little bit of chilli in some of my food. But the type of Brits we get here often faint at the thought of killer chilli and killer hops - although I'm partial to that combination myself.

I see you are in California, I have a friend, you might have seen his posts, in Oregon, beermanwalking. I'm going to be visiting in December. Check out his place on the net, I believe it's unique for that part of the world.

Wurst aka Whorst said...

Dave, I thought Englander's taste had evolved? Green Chili Stew is similar to Chili Verde, which has some heat. If your clientele don't like spicy foods, not much you can do.

In regards to yeast, have you ever used Fermentis Safale-05? It's a fairly neutral ale strain that similar to Nottingham. I like it better, as it doesn't finish as dry.

The Woolpack Inn said...

Ah, some over here like a good hot spicy meal. Some don't. We seem these days to get a the type who don't like anything tooooo challenging in the flavour dept. But you can still sneak in the odd chilli here and there!

I've never used Safale-05 but Stuart at Foxfield does all the time. He say's the same as you that Nottingham dries the beer out too much. I guess I like my ales dryer plus I aim for a higher mash temperature if I'm wanting sweeter, seems to work.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Agreed on the mash temperature. I bumped the mash up to 67 C for a porter and a brown ale and I'm running out of both. For those drinkers who don't go for the bitter smack in the palette right off the top, the Nottingham does well at these temperatures.

I'll search you out some chili beer, and some good chili, when you get here in December.