Saturday, 23 April 2011

Take it back

From my earliest pubgoing days, I was always brought up to take my glass back to the bar after I had finished my pint. It’s basic good manners really, and you only don’t if there’s a crush at the bar or if you want to make a point about sub-standard beer. So it often dismays me when I see people on CAMRA pub crawls leave their cluster of empty half-pints on the tables. Isn’t this likely to add to the image of CAMRA as a bunch of patronising beer snobs who only condescend to visit someone’s local pub once a year and then leave their glasses for the skivvy to clear up?

Yet one member - of my sort of age - said that he had never come across the idea of taking your glass back until he had joined CAMRA. Did they not believe in manners where he was brought up, I wonder?


  1. I was brought up to take my empty glass back along with many of my friends back in the sixties.

    It's the same when you let a car in at a busy junction, and they don't say thank you with a wave. It really is ignorant.

    It's almost a sign of weakness to show common courtesy today.

  2. I take my glass back and also say thanks if the pub is reasonably quiet.

  3. We used to take our glasses back to get refilled .. always tasted better the 2nd pint in the same glass !!

  4. As usual Mudgie you make a good point then ruin it by gratuitous CAMRA references. Of course CAMRA members are the only ones not to return their glasses to the bar. That's a known fact.

    Despite your last para. Why do you bother to remain a member I wonder? With friends like you, who needs enemies.

  5. I've heard people moaning about the state of their uncleared table in a busy pub when every glass on it is their own. They'd also no doubt be moaning if they were waiting to be served while the staff were out collecting glasses. I always take my glass back, along with any other empties in my group. I see it as good manners to do so. But, sorry CM, in my experience CAMRA members behave no differently from anyone else: some take them back & some don't.

  6. Not taking glasses back is well down the list of ill-mannered behaviour in pubs, but the point is that it doesn't look good when done by CAMRA members taking part in an official advertised event. If they do it as "private citizens" it's no worse and no better than anyone else doing it.

    And, since once guy said he'd never heard of it before joining CAMRA, obviously it's doing a small bit to spread civilisation ;-)

    Incidentally, I get the impression that the general drinking public don't spend the evening going from pub to pub in the way that was commonplace when I were a lad.

  7. Peter, this really is drivel - and, as Tandeleman has said, compounded by a gratuitous anti-CAMRA reference. Some people take glasses back, some don't. That's life. How do the pubs (or anyone else for that matter) know the glasses have been left by CAMRA people on an advertised event? And if it concerns you that much you can always take the glasses back to the bar yourself.

    This is pretty thin stuff.

  8. Possibly an age thing, I've always done it as well but notice now than few people seem to bother.
    If a table is filthy or beer is rubbish leave it.

  9. Fair point PC although I, in the main, take my glass back before ordering another one but at the end of my drinking session I usually leave my, and the Mrs's, glass on the table, especially when outside where I am forced to go for a smoke with my pint.

    I believe in common deciency in life, whether in pubs or not or whether you have had one pint to many you still treat the bar staff with respect, they are working, you are not.

    As for CAMRA... us on the sink estates know them for what they are, not representative of the drinker in general who behaves themselves and say please and thank you whenever they are served or if a 'glass picker upper' takes their glass away. I am not one of these people that says, and I've heard it, that they get paid for doing their job so it is my job to make their working life harder.

    Treat people with respect and they will respect you, that's my philosophy!

  10. Sainsbury's in my neck of the woods has got Spitfire on sale for £1 a bottle, down from £1.75. Just thought I'd mention it.

  11. "How do the pubs (or anyone else for that matter) know the glasses have been left by CAMRA people on an advertised event?"

    Possibly because the participants have been discussing it with the licensee or bar staff? And it doesn't take many brain cells to work out what's going on if a party of chunky middle-aged people often wearing beer-related T-shirts suddenly walk into your pub at an otherwise quiet time and order halves in ones and twos.

    "And if it concerns you that much you can always take the glasses back to the bar yourself."

    Oh, I do, but I'd rather I didn't have to.

    Any other gems of post-pub wisdom you'd like to share with us?

  12. Oh, who's making snide personal comments now? And for what it's worth, it wasn't post-pub.

    And in the cold light of day, I still think this is drivel. You really do seem to have gone out of your way to bring in an anti-CAMRA reference here (and one that I do not think would have occurred to anyone else, regardless of how rabidly anti-CAMRA they may be) - I can only echo Tandleman's comments - with friends like you who needs enemies?

  13. I always take my glasses back to the bar once we've finished for the night, it's only good manners.

    And I'm one of the younger ones and I'm not a CAMRA member either... ;)

  14. There is a strong correlation between folk who bring glasses back to the bar, and those who have worked or do work in the pub trade. Even though it's 18+ years since I served beer for a living I am hard-wired to return my empties once I've finished with them.
    As a CAMRA member of 20 years I do find my fellow members are generally ignorant to the commercial realities of pub and brewery life. On a broader theme I feel CAMRA has lost its way, as a campaign organisation, what does it stand for anymore? It has got more breweries producing a greater variety of cask beer than it ever had. Small brewers' duty relief stimulated this, not CAMRA. In my opinion it exists now just to keep itself going. CAMRA needs to redefine what it actually stands for and what its aims are as I'm not sure anymore.

  15. My wife and I were in the Harlequin(Sheffield) during the BAGS AGM weekend. It really made my blood boil that none of the assorted groups took their glasses back to the bar. We came to the conclusion that they could not cope with Brew Company beers lacking the crystal malt character that their usual Regional brewery manufactures back home. On another point why did they all sport walking boots and anoraks on a sunny day?

  16. I was born in the 80s but still take my pint glass back to the bar wherever possible. Just good manners.

    Could be a North/South thing?

    My girlfriends from London and thought it was very strange that I did this. She also thinks its strange how people in Leeds thank the bus driver when getting off the bus!

    Good old fashioned yorkshire manners!

  17. "Could be a North/South thing? "

    No, Neil, definitely not. Why do northeners always say this?


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