Monday 6 April 2009
The first thing I noticed when settled down in the Crown Posada with a pint of something substantial and nourishing was that everyone who ordered a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale had it carefully decanted into a half pint schooner shaped glass (and it came out of the fridge). Mentioned to the half-drunk man on the next table, carefully scrutinising his newspaper but ever so eager for a chat, and I was told that it was always served like that. No concerns about the feminising influence of a half pint here then. He then asked me what I was drinking but given his advanced state of intoxication i refrained from saying: ‘mine’s a…’ I told him. Hadrian & Border’s Gladiator. He replied: ‘So you’re a real ale man.’ Why on earth do people think that because you have a glass of cask beer and because you seem to be enjoying it, that you belong to a secret society, a cabalistically inclined group of types who also walk round churches the wrong way in their spare time. Getting back to the glass, seemed like safer ground and I said to my new friend that sometimes I just want a half pint of whatever I want to drink, but I don’t like those dreadful thimble-lookalikes that masquerade as glasses in many pubs. I think they’re the younger siblings of the nonic glass, which is a pretty ugly looking thing at the best of times. He looked at me with pity in his face and went back to the newspaper. At the bar the man with the attractive looking glass of carbonated caramel carried on reading his newspaper. I looked forward to another pint.