Bars not pouring a head/etiquette

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by agapeagape, Jan 11, 2013.

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  1. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,401) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I dunno.. Piss on the head when I'm out in some cases.

    I found a local place pouring some Cockeye'd Cooper BBA Barleywine. I've had it in a bottle before and I enjoyed it. Draft.. hell yes please.

    It came with half a head, and half full of beer, in a normal 10-12 oz tulip. I told the server.. uhhhh, is that normal, or did it kick halfway through my glass.. He told me that was how they normally served it. I knew he was full of shit, so I pretty much decided that since I was the one that paid for 8 people to eat at the place, that he'd pay for the other half of the glass, of a $12 pour for that shitty excuse.

    I'm all for a head on the beer, don't get me wrong. But there IS a balance there. Depending on style, a finger or 2 is perfect. Giving me a 4 sherman clump finger head on my already small, overprice 10% ABV barleywine.. get the hell out of here... It's a farce.
  2. marquis

    marquis Crusader (762) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Here's what must have been a perfect pint of Bass. Nothing like the bland stuff from can or bottle; straight from the cask.Notice the full pint.
    Did I complain about the lack of head? No chance. BTW the beer was NOT FLAT.
  3. dgilks

    dgilks Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2008 Australia

    Shall we return to the real issue - all glasses should be oversized with a marked line indicating the correct pour volume and with liquid to the line and head above it. This eliminates the issue of people claiming short pours and ensures that those wanting a head get one.
    nogophers, rlcoffey and Andygirl like this.
  4. TheBierAbbey

    TheBierAbbey Initiate (0) Oct 18, 2012 New York

    I think we are still caught up in the 'old beer world' where shaker pint glasses, single temperature coolers and lack of beer knowledge by the staff are the norm. Sure there are plenty of places that do it better but they are the exception.

    Pour Size and Glasses - In this evolving beer world, you should see things moving toward where your pour size is determined by a line or mark on the glass. While our branded glasses and house glasses all have lines, we are still using shaker pints and glasses like the Lagunitas ball jar for the 16oz pour, though we have priced the item at not quite that. It is important to communicate what the customer is getting for the $$.

    Temperature - We pour beer out of 3 separate coolers at 38, 43 and 48 degrees and are evaluating moving the latter up to about 45 and 52. I have not found temperature to be a real factor overall though it does factor into balancing your draft system. Our warmer cooler does house the beers higher in alcohol in general and they tend to pour very well.

    Faucets/Draft System - We have chosen to move almost exclusively to flow control faucets. They take a well designed system to the next level in that there are plenty of beers that are harder to pour out of the gate, like La Fin Du Monde or other Belgian Style/Belgian beer. The flow control really enables you to slow the beer down and pour exceptionally well.

    Pouring/Bartender - So sure we can get a perfect pour to the line on the glass but what about head? Well, some beers are still more 'difficult' to pour and we get a nice head anyway while still meeting the line with beer. Some pour so perfectly that we get beer to the line with no head at all. We crack the faucet and essentially lay some head on the beer strictly for appearances.

    - Not all people understand that foam is actually about 1/2 beer, depending.
    - Not all people understand that there is a fill line on the glass, giving them what they are paying for.
    - Not all bartenders are going to do exactly what the owner wants them to do and there may be variation between bartenders at any given bar.

    Just some thoughts from a long-time beer lover and short-time bar owner...

    CanConPhilly likes this.
  5. smokinyodas

    smokinyodas Initiate (0) Oct 21, 2012 Florida

    Reminds me of a time while I was working for a pizza-joint and the owner of the business complained to one of the girls about not giving any head, on the beers. We all got a good laugh about the head jokes, but honestly no one ever complained other than the owner and I recall the girls getting more tips with less than a fingers width of head.

    As for myself, when pouring beer it depends on the type of beer. From a standard pint glass you will be concentrating on getting a straight pour and the best way for that is from a tilted angle. You get less head tilted, but you can softly pull back on the tap to feather on an extra foamy head. On the other hand if it's a Pilsner, you will want to pour directly down into the beer. That's producing a head all the way through, then let it rest and follow with a top off that will please the customer.

    It really depends on what the customer wants and often they never speak up unless they are agitated. These are hard jobs working for people that are inebriated, just tell them how you want it served, educate the bartender and remember the customer is king. :grinning:
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