Drinking direct from the bottle may be OK for those cool cats in London but Fat Badgers prefer to drink our real ale from a glass because we’re sophisticated Badgers and like to be traditional.
Glasses
There are a huge number of different glass styles and whether you order a pint of nitrogen filled keg beer with half a pint of froth on the top or a pint of purest green ale made with nettles, the style of glass makes a subtle difference to the taste and overall pleasure gained from the beer. There are many more glass styles than we’ve shown here and ‘generally’ the UK doesn’t use stemmed glasses for beer, we leave that to the Belgians who tend to like strong bottled beers served in Goblets, Flutes or Trappist glasses. We also have glass boots and the ‘yard of ale’ though these aren’t commonly used even though most pubs will have them hanging up or on the top shelf. There is much debate over the best way to serve a pint of real ale and in general terms the further North in the UK the more you are likely to find a ‘creamy head’ on your pint. Many will say real ale should be served at ‘room temperature’ but when was the term ‘room temperature’ first used? Was it back in the day before central heating when room temperatures were undoubtedly lower than they are today. There is even a difference of opinion amongst the Fat Badgers and at least one Badger prefers to drink lager in the summer. On returning from a sailing trip Four Fat Badgers called in at the Peyton Arms in Stoke Lyne, Northamptonshire a few years ago - a proper olde worlde real ale boozer. One particular Badger’s heart dropped when he realised he’d been taken to a real ale pub on a hot day and where they filled the glasses straight from the cask. We all ordered a nice ale and he said “I suppose I’ll have to have a pint of Girlie”. The Landlord bought our beers back and he found that he’d got a pint of Carling. We all laughed at him but he was happy anyway and the rest of us were relieved that we hadn’t chosen Girlie. Originally beer in Britain was drunk in wooden tankards, then leather and then pottery tankards before pewter became the norm. The word "tankard" originally meant any wooden vessel. The pewter tankard was still in common use up until the early 20th century when glass took over with the ten sided Lantern tankard. The dimpled mug was created around 1938 and is still in use in the UK mainly in the more traditional drinking establishments. With the improvement of glass technology a smooth sided tankard was introduced in the 1940’s. Straight sided ‘Shaker’ glasses were also around in the early 20th century and the name comes from the Cocktail shaker glass although they weren’t in regular use in Britain as pint pots. In the 1950’s the Nonic glass was introduced. The name came from “No nick” where chips appeared in the rim of the glass when being washed, the bulge in the side helped to prevent this and in the 1970’s it became common for a barman to ask “straight or handled”. The Tulip glass, originally a stemmed glass started being produced in the 1960’s although didn’t take over as the most popular pint pot until the turn of the 21st century. The Shaker glass has become more widely used since the 1990’s and the Nonic, Tulip and Shaker are all still used and often all appear on the shelves at the same time. Some trendy bars have taken to serving beer in Jam Jars, Fat Badgers don’t ever drink ale out of Jam Jars, we use Jam Jars for Jam.
Name
Style
Year
Pewter Tankard
Pre 1920
Lantern
1920
Dimpled Mug
1938
Tankard
1940
Nonic
1950
Tulip
1960
Shaker
1990