Thursday 6 January 2011

Schooner schooner schooner schooner

Writing about other blogs can become a self-referential circle of self-congratulation or self-immolation (take your pick and it’s of course entirely the views of myself), but I’m amused about the schooner stuff which has been covered here, here and here. Like the writers I think it’s a positive move, a contemporary take on beer glassware that — lord of lords — has been proposed by the government (aided and abetted of course by those stirling folk at BrewDog); this sort of take on glassware (as opposed to gimmick glassware for women, ‘young folk’ and whoever else the brewing industry has decided needs to be herded into a segment entitled ‘new beer drinkers’) is something that I’ve heard discussed on and off in beer writing circles for years. The half pint, especially when it’s dimpled or the mini nonic, is a paltry thing of such ugliness that you might as well drink out of a thimble, while the pint, as rightly observed, can be too much if you’ve got some St Petersburg or Dark Star’s Tripel on the go (though some of us do soldier on manfully sometimes). So well done for the introduction of the schooner (which according to Michael Jackson in the English Pub was a term occasionally used by northern drinkers to describe their glass). One thing puzzles me: I’ve yet to see anyone writing about the death of the pint (or the dearth even) — maybe it’s just a letter in the Daily Express that has been expanded to become a massive media myth, a case of dragons needed to be slain.  


  1. "those stirling folk at BrewDog"

    I think you'll find they're from Fraserburgh. Sorry.

    I'm only surprised that bars previously weren't allowed to serve in these measures, so long as people know what they're purchasing.

    One of things I found odd in New York specialist beer bars was that they didn't necessarily tell you what measure you were getting when you ordered (much less the ABV).

  2. Hi prole
    Stirling was a pun on their Scottish fighting spirit referring to the Battle fo Stirling Bridge when Mel Gibson beat the English
    I dit know they’re from Fraserburgh, near Aberdeen cause I’d like to go to their new bar but it’s too far at the moment
    if they had done something with a Hawaiian theme I would have worked Alloa in it, that’s the way my mind works.

  3. As you probably already know, the US pint is a wee bit smaller (16ozs) which makes it a bit more managable, although the schooner at 8ozs is just a wee bit too small. The smaller sizes ensure your beer doesn't get too warm.

  4. I was just being annoying. Apologies.

    Yeah, the bar looks fun. I'm looking forward to them opening the second one in Edinburgh, as I'm much more likely to be passing through there.

  5. Legend
    I find the 16oz very manageable indeed, but at the Vermont brewers association fest I had a tasting glass that was pretty small (8oz perhaps( and it did me just right, especially when I kept going back for Alchemist’s imperial Pilsner Your Mother
    Edinbrgh you say, now that is a bit more manageable — might put off my visit there until it happens so I can do that, the Bow Bar, the Oxford and various others, one of my favourite drinking cities in the world.

  6. I really enjoyed the US pint, never felt the need to drop down to a half for the strong stuff.
    I did find the 10cl sample measure a bit small when I went to European Beer Fest in Copenhagen a couple of years ago, one mouth full and your back in the que for another

  7. Hi Stu
    good to hear from you, I think the problem when you have too small a measure at a beer festival is that — as you say — you end up queuing; I personally don’t feel the need to try every beer on earth when I’m at one, as I enjoy the social vibe and people-watching (and hearing) just as much as a beer.

  8. Spare a thought for us publicans trying to cram ever more assorted glassware into very limited shelf space.Well I suppose that's another one Ill have to accommodate.
    Re your comment on the dimpled half,do you have an aversion to the pints too?I was thinking of getting in some dimpled pints quite like the traditional feel of them???And they're quite sturdy!

  9. Snippet — I know dimples are fashionable in the fashionable parts of fashionable London at the moment (the places where media workers try to grow sideburns and wear brown shoes with shiny black suits, but I have to confess that I have always loathed them — they are redolent of golf club bores (‘the major been in?), hail-fellow-well-met Poujadists, self-conscious post-modernists who dive headlong first into every self-righteous pool of ooh-look-ar-me-branding that’s going and old men.
    They are sturdy in a fight though I have heard…

  10. Oops had no idea they were enjoying a renaissance,the latest fads normally pass us by unnoticed,best steer well clear then as that bunch of latter day fascists aren't really our demographic..
    (Actually I admit, had to to google Poujadist to find out what it meant,its amazing what you can learn on the interwebs)
    PS I found an old box of them in the shed,maybe I could use them for Pint-o-Prawns instead....

  11. pint o prawns, I like that — very retro, very prawn cocktail years, rum babas and poulet in a basket next?