The Narragansett Brewery Tour: Part Two, Chapter Three
How to Drink Beer and The Perfect Pour!
By. Guy Lister
John’s Tour was also educational. For instance, john always wanted people to leave the Tour armed with some new information that would enhance their enjoyment of a good glass of beer. He’d teach people the difference between a clean glass and a “beer clean” glass. He’d have me hand him a clean glass but then he’d show the group why that particular glass was not necessarily a “beer clean” glass. To demonstrate the difference he’d hand me the glass and ask me to just wet it, inside and out. Then after I’d hand it back to him, he’d ask me to hand him a slat shaker. He would them sprinkle the glass with salt both inside in and out. He’d hold up the glass to the group to show where the salt adhered to the glass was “beer clean” and where it hadn’t was not “beer clean”. The he’d use his hands to rub the salt all over the inside and outside of the glass whish would lean the entire glass to where it was completely “beer clean”. He would then come to the back of the bar and grab another glass that was probably not “beer clean” and would wet that one as we had the first. He would hold that one up to show the people how there would be water drops clinging to parts of the glass but not on others. Then he’d open a fresh bottle of beer and pour the beer into the bottom of the glass to create a good size head. Then he’d set that glass on the bar to settle down a little. He would then take the glass that he had rubbed salt on and rinsed that glass in the water. When he held up that now “beer clean” glass, the water just sheeted off the glass leaving no water droplets at all on it. When he poured the rest of that bottle of beer into this glass, the head on the beer came up like the first but there were no visible beer bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass as you could see on the sides of the glass that was not “beer clean”. Also, the head on the beer in the “beer clean” glass was much thicker and creamier then the other glass! That was such a great demonstration that really taught people and made instant believers out of any skeptics that there might have been.
John would recommend good glass cleaners to people to use in dishwashers or sinks, depending what they had available.
I will add that I used that exact demonstration to my advantage all the years that I spent on the road all over New England. It saved many a draft line for me and gained many for me too. The secret was to be very discreet in your choice of words when suggesting to a customer that there was a “chance”, that their glasses were not “beer clean”. Some of my customers who I hope will read these words will remember this and I’ll never tell who they were but they’ll know.
From the “Beer Clean” story, John would roll into showing the proper was to pour a glass of beer. To do this, he’d grab another fresh bottle of beer and hand it and a glass to a volunteer and would ask them to pour themselves a glass of beer. Rarely was there a problem finding volunteers to do this. As one might expect, 99 out of 100 people would tilt the glass and pour it down the inside of the glass and then would gradually set the glass up straight to finish the pour. John would then invite the person to drink the beer and as the person was drinking, John would say, “Now as you’re drinking this you’ll notice a biting sandy quality to the beer.” That’s caused by the carbonation left in the beer from the brewing process. But the carbonation is only in beer to preserve the life of the beer, IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE CONSUMED!!”, John would finish with that big, booming voice of his. He was still building a creciendo and then he’d puff up his cheeks, not say a word and continue making himself look completely bloated as his face would get fiery red.
This would totally crack up the group! As John slowly deflated himself and his face returned to normal color, he’d say, “Drink enough beers poured that way and you’ll wake up the next day feeling like you’ve been hit over the head with one of Babe Ruth’s baseball bats! Mind you that guy carried a big stick! I’m talking about his baseball bat! I don’t know nothing about his sex life!!”
This was one of the stories that sometimes land John in a little hot water. Usually, the audience loved it.
So John would proceed to show the group that the correct way to pour a beer was, “to aim for that rock hard bottom of the glass to extract the carbonation from the beer.” He always told people to never quite fill the glass to the brim. “Always leave a little collar on the glass to contain the Perfume of the beer for your nose to inhale.”
This Chapter reminds of Joe O’Neil who taught us the proper way to pour a beer. Here’s the video of how everyone should be drinking beer.
Be sure to check back next week as we continue Guy’s story of John English and The Narragansett Brewery Tour!
This Story remains the intellectual property of Guy Lister and may not be printed, reprinted, edited, sold or published, conventionally, electronically, or by other means without the expressed written approval of Guy Lister. Copyright 2001.