Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Fake Britain - Fake Pints Feature

Fake Britain - Fake Pints Feature link to BBC Fake Britain above

Frankly it's palpably ridiculous that the 'is it a pint' issue has been going round these shores for decades. There is a plain reason for this tedious nonsense that no one appears prepared to openly admit; IF serving 'a pint' were rigorously enforced - UK pubs would be closing even faster than they are already; because of this the industry has simply obfuscated over the issue for its own ends.

WHY it happens is understandable: Most of the pubs in the UK are 'tied' - legally bound by the terms of their lease to buy beer from the pub company who owns the premises. Because of the usurious costs of the freeholders' wholesale price list tied publican's profit margins are so tight  they are prepared to take desperate risks to keep their businesses afloat; such increasing the financial 'yield' in every pint - by consistently underpouring their drinks. It's a classic measure, everyone knows it, and even though it's staring the nation in the face no one's ever admits it publicly. Sadly, it's a very English trait.

This shaming reality aside, at base the pint point should not be open to debate.  Nine tenths makes noteth a pint. And it's not difficult to see how widespread the ninth of a pint serve is and when you're not being ripped off; The first 'pints' served and measured by the weights & measures man in the programme were quote obviously fine and the others simply were not. And very often you see drinks served just like that.

Think - how many pubs have you been in where they serve beer with that kind of a head - 21p short of a pint? I've been in loads.  It pisses me off, I really don't like asking for my drink to be filled up - first of all it's galling to HAVE to ask for what you're entitled. But then, although in some pubs a top up simply is not a problem to the staff, in many bars you get that: 'you're a real twat' snide look from the bar tender before they grudgingly fill your glass to somewhere approaching where it should have been when they first served it. This happens perhaps half the time. It makes your asking into being treated as if it were a complaint and makes asking for your rights next time that bit more irritating - 'why does my relaxing downtime have to be spent asking for what I paid for?'. I hate it.

That's why, you see; If I saw a colleague serving an underserve pint like that I'd give them a stern lecture and a clear verbal warning and make them apologise to the customer. Anything less would be tantamount to condoning fraud.

1 comment:

  1. John John Lindsey - I meant to include above but omitted it, that the many Tied publicans who serve a proper measure as a matter of course are between a rock and a hard place: if they priced their pints to achieve a commercially rational margin the UK population would simply abandon most pubs - because beer would be well over £4 a pint all over the country and few people can afford to socialise at those kind of prices.

    What a luxury of choice:

    1) Price your products to get the retail margin you need relative to the wholesale cost and see customers walk out the door and your business collapse by a severe lack of punters.

    2) Price your products at a level customers will still wear (just) and see your business inevitably fail, dreadfully and slowly strangled by a severe lack of profit.

    Enduring the torture of this financial attrition is like hell on earth. Your pubco is putting you out of business while it's still making £millions - and it's telling you that YOU are the readon for all ITS problems - and there's absolutely NOTHING you can do about it unless you break the law. It's appalling; the Tie makes criminals out of good, honest, responsible and hardworking people.

    Friend of mine bought a round of five drinks last week in a Camberwell pub - three pints of Stella, two large glasses of red wine and it was £27. He won't be going back there again.