Sunday, 21 March 2010

Mug punter

I was surprised yesterday in a pub to be served with a pint in a dimpled mug. I remember when the “handle glass” was widespread, but was seen as stuffy and pretentious, and I – along with many others – made a point of asking for a straight glass, or a “sleever” as it was called in the West Country. Nowadays, while many pubs still keep a few behind the bar for some of their older customers, it’s rare indeed to be given one by default. Do they, I wonder, subtly change the character of the beer by exposing a greater surface area of head to the atmosphere?


  1. All you need now is a good smoke to go with it - eh?

  2. Plenty of dimpled mugs in Ashton u lyne,usually well blessed with

    Hey up u wer that mentioning the
    forbidden topic,schhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    hhhhhhhh,u no wat S**k**g,
    Y'u'll get the CAMRA sisterhood
    throwing their baguettes up

    Make mine a pint of Odins Tears

    Still Waiting

  3. "Do they, I wonder, subtly change the character of the beer by exposing a greater surface area of head to the atmosphere?"

    For feck sake, you can't be serious mate??!!

  4. In Europe, these are routinely given out in quite a few bars, strangely enough.

    Not my pint glass of choice, but it's interesting that there is the old person connotation in the UK but not on the continent.

  5. Handled pots always have a "rugby club" image to me - they remind me of Godfrey Smith, the former Sunday Times columnist (and a self-declared rugger man).

  6. I think it's the glass of default in the Betjeman Arms at St Pancras station.

    I always smile at these, remembering the line Michael Caine delivers in 'Get Carter'. He walks into a pub in Newcastle and orders a beer. Seeing the barman about to put in into a pot, he snaps his fingers impatiently and orders, "In a thin glass!"

    So, they died out because of Michael Caine. Not a lot of people know that...

  7. I've had BrewDog Trashy Blonde in pubs on two occasions and both times it was served in a dimpled and handled glass. Not sure if it's at the brewer's request or just that the two pubs like those glasses, though everything else I've had in both of the establishments has been in a conical glass.

  8. Maybe you're getting on a bot, Mudgie, and they figured you were an old timer. So they gave you your old mans beer in an old mans glass. Time moves in one direction, accept it, old fella.

  9. At the pub I used to work in we used them by default for our real ales - though there were only ever 20 kept behind the bar (you could stand 40-50 people along the bar at any one time) and we had up to six ales on as well. It seemed however that only a few of us preferred them to drink from (they kept the ale cooler for longer) and most people asked for straight glasses.

    Since then it only seems to be country pubs that have them to use anymore - and I'm never drinking when I visit them as I have to drive home!

    Still at least I've got my pewter jug at home for drinking from.

  10. @MArkRAR: doesn't sound punk rock enough for BrewDog. Or, maybe it is. Ironically.

    I don't know who I am any more...

  11. Martin, Cambridge22 March 2010 at 19:57

    Never liked beer in handles, definitely tastes watery in comparison to a classic straight glass. Some slightly upmarket M&B pubs in Birmingham seem to use only handles, making Pedigree taste very dull.

  12. Dimples do lovely things to the colours of an amber beer, I always believe, but I couldn't see the taste experience being any different. My father would only drink out of a thin glass, however: said he didn't like the sensation of thick glass against his lips.

  13. The Nicholson's chain in central London now offers dimpled mugs to "real ale" drinkers as some sort of marketing gimmick.

    Never could stand the things myself, even when they were the default in many pubs 30 years ago. With a full pint in particular, the balance is wrong and when forced to use them I tend to grip the body of the glass instead, using the handle merely as a brace or support. For common or garden bitter give me a straight glass any day.


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