One of the questions we often hear is, “How do you decide which glass to use?” We have dimpled pint mugs and tall nonic pint glasses; they both hold twenty English ounces. As a rule, we pour English-style beers in tall nonics and American- and German-style beers in mugs. Old-timers will recall that when we opened (exactly six years ago) we only used the dimpled pint mugs.
The fact is, we are happy to pour any of our beers into the glass of your choice. Most people don’t have a strong preference, but others most certainly do. On average, customers with a strong preference go for the nonic, without a clear rationale. It’s true that the dimpled mug is considerably thicker. But this, coupled with the handle, keeps the beer temperature constant.
And the old dimpled mug is the stated preference of a few. Take English Chris, for example. He once informed me that, at his local back home, if a barman handed a beer to a patron in a tall pint glass, it would be thrown back in his face … or worse. You may recognize English Chris, whose athletic physique makes it impractical to wear shirtsleeves over his well-muscled shoulders and upper arms. Every pint I serve him is in a well-polished dimpled pint mug. Though his pleasant demeanor suggests he’s above launching a pint glass at an imprudent barman, I have not put him to the test.
When English Chris orders a round, he specifies a jug for himself and pots for the others. Casual research suggests that both these terms sometimes refer to mugs with handles, but clearly usage varies regionally throughout England. The OED defines a pot as “A vessel of cylindrical or other rounded form, and rather deep than broad, commonly made of earthenware or metal (less commonly glass), used to hold various substances, liquid or solid, for domestic or other purposes.”
Handles not being mentioned either way, either of our glasses could be called a pot, yet the visual seems answered by the nonic rather than the dimpled mug. A jug, on the other hand, is defined as a “swelling vessel” with a handle on one side. This is clearly our dimpled pint mug. I, for one, have never doubted English Chris’s keen knowledge of semantics, especially regarding words signifying pub-related items.
Whatever you call your vessel, fill it with delicious Civil Life beer. The tall, thin nonics have a certain elegance. But the dimples in the mugs catch the light and allow the beers in them to sparkle like gems of rare beauty. But unlike gemstones, which just look pretty, beer is tasty and satisfying. Nonic or dimpled mug? Pot or jug? Which Civil Life beer to order? None of these questions has a wrong answer.
Head down to the pub to fill your favorite glass with your favorite beer. And if you see English Chris, buy him a pint. Just make bloody sure it’s in a jug. Cheers!
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.