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2024 Beer Pricing?


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8 hours ago, Alvoram said:

Crazy... 

I hated trying to budget in the states, you see a price, in a restaurant for example, but you have to factor in tax, then a tip, it's bloody stupid. Just pay your staff right and charge whatever you need to charge to cover expenses and wages, and that includes the bloody tax too. 

 

Me and my wife went to NYC in summer 2022 and got given a $140 'city tax' bill when we checked out of our hotel! 

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1 minute ago, Monty Pythagoras said:

What we saying on bringing cash? Feel like few of the bars and even food vendors are cash only.

 

P.S. You don't have to pretend the card reader's gone down due to the signal 😉

 

I've got £150 cash to bring with me as I found a lot of the bars were cash only by choice last year not because of ropey signal.

 

Do we know if any of the bars/food stalls are going to be cash only this year?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/23/2024 at 5:35 PM, theciderviking said:

This years “per unit” calculation, Burrow Hill being the cheapest option if you want to get pissed without breaking the bank! 🍻

 

1464212858_Image23-06-2024at17_29.thumb.jpeg.b3275feec5ba59b72117c59b62178100.jpeg

 

This list didn't include Brothers festival perry at 7% ABV which at £6 a pint would give a price per unit of £1.51 making it easily the cheapest, HOWEVER (and I'm surprised no one else has commented on this), the sneaky Brothers had found a way of getting their cider to have a foamy head on it! I assume they added something to it as cider normally doesn't foam, the pints I got were well below the legal allowance, they had a least an inch of foam on them and so were well short of a pint, I didn't complain as they were the cheapest and by rights they should have been more expensive than the other bars (more duty on higher ABV) but thought it interesting.

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Hmmm, did they put a sparkler on the tap? That’d be hella weird to do that with kegged cider, but would definitely put a head on it! Surprised they don’t market it with ‘festival cider with a head to protect your pint from the elements!’ 

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13 minutes ago, balti-pie said:

Hmmm, did they put a sparkler on the tap? That’d be hella weird to do that with kegged cider, but would definitely put a head on it! Surprised they don’t market it with ‘festival cider with a head to protect your pint from the elements!’ 

Don't know exactly how they did it but was different from previous years, in a paper cup it's not so obvious either, would really show in glass. Thought it was just a careless staff member first time so went back to another pump, just the same, foamy head was flowing over the side of the cup and another short measure.

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They definitely wouldn't have been doing it deliberately as the bars get visited by trading standards as well as the council (for licensing issues - primarily checking they're not serving under 18s.)  Brothers pear cider is just a rebrand of Babycham, i.e. it's not a real ale/cider so is pasteurised and has CO2 injected to make it fizz.  CO2 systems need to be calibrated or you can, for example, get an entire pint of foam.  This is especially true if they're using multi dispenser systems where at the press a button the machine pours out several pints.  These are supposed to be calibrated to pour exact pints, so the bar staff are instructed not to top up the pints as this could put the bar in breach of weights/measures.  However, they definitely do go wrong from time to time, and that's probably what happened here.  There shouldn't be any drama about telling the bar staff you've got a short pint - they're only volunteers so no skin of their nose to swap it for another one or get the cellar guys to sort out the machine.

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6 minutes ago, Mark E. Spliff said:

They definitely wouldn't have been doing it deliberately as the bars get visited by trading standards as well as the council (for licensing issues - primarily checking they're not serving under 18s.)  Brothers pear cider is just a rebrand of Babycham, i.e. it's not a real ale/cider so is pasteurised and has CO2 injected to make it fizz.  CO2 systems need to be calibrated or you can, for example, get an entire pint of foam.  This is especially true if they're using multi dispenser systems where at the press a button the machine pours out several pints.  These are supposed to be calibrated to pour exact pints, so the bar staff are instructed not to top up the pints as this could put the bar in breach of weights/measures.  However, they definitely do go wrong from time to time, and that's probably what happened here.  There shouldn't be any drama about telling the bar staff you've got a short pint - they're only volunteers so no skin of their nose to swap it for another one or get the cellar guys to sort out the machine.

Cockup or conspiracy? I usually favour conspiracy!, but you may well be right. Yes the pumps are calibrated 1/2 pint pours, once the first 1/2 was in, the second one caused the cup to overflow, some went down the tray maybe they fixed it later and I was just unlucky.

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9 hours ago, Mark E. Spliff said:

They definitely wouldn't have been doing it deliberately as the bars get visited by trading standards as well as the council (for licensing issues - primarily checking they're not serving under 18s.)  Brothers pear cider is just a rebrand of Babycham, i.e. it's not a real ale/cider so is pasteurised and has CO2 injected to make it fizz.  CO2 systems need to be calibrated or you can, for example, get an entire pint of foam.  This is especially true if they're using multi dispenser systems where at the press a button the machine pours out several pints.  These are supposed to be calibrated to pour exact pints, so the bar staff are instructed not to top up the pints as this could put the bar in breach of weights/measures.  However, they definitely do go wrong from time to time, and that's probably what happened here.  There shouldn't be any drama about telling the bar staff you've got a short pint - they're only volunteers so no skin of their nose to swap it for another one or get the cellar guys to sort out the machine.

Excess head is more likely caused by incorrect temperatures, dirty lines / dispense equipment, or an incorrect flow rate setting. It can be cause by incorrect gas pressure, but I very much doubt that would be the reason.

In 20 years in the trade I've never experienced excess head caused by a co2 or co2/n2 blended gas pressure issue. That would require a faulty regulator, and they're very reliable, plus they need to be professionally checked and signed off before use then checked / serviced frequently. Like I said, I've never had a faulty regulator. 

I could be wrong, I'm no expert, just have lots of experience in the trade, including maintaining the cellar of my own free house... But If I had an excess head issue, the gas would be the last thing I'd think to check, as surprising as that may sound. 

Edited by Alvoram
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Happy to bow to your greater knowledge as I've never worked in a pub.  The workings of the dispensing kit is a dark art as far as festival bar staff are concerned - the cellar guys don't let you touch anything.  We occasionally get spells where every cup in a 12 pint MDU is filled to the brim with froth and zero liquid, so we just assume it's too much gas and that that's what they adjust to sort it out.  Whatever the cause, it's out of our hands and we'd definitely sort out an underfilled pint if asked.

Edited by Mark E. Spliff
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2 hours ago, Mark E. Spliff said:

Happy to bow to your greater knowledge as I've never worked in a pub.  The workings of the dispensing kit is a dark art as far as festival bar staff are concerned - the cellar guys don't let you touch anything.  We occasionally get spells where every cup in a 12 pint MDU is filled to the brim with froth and zero liquid, so we just assume it's too much gas and that that's what they adjust to sort it out.  Whatever the cause, it's out of our hands and we'd definitely sort out an underfilled pint if asked.

Hey I mostly wing things myself through pure necessity, so I don't know about greater knowledge, lol, youtube is a wonderful thing!!!

But it's probably the 'flow rate' that they're actually sorting, but easier to refer to it as 'gas,' as that's the visible effect. 🙂

It's really easy to do on a single font, there's either a knob by the tap handle, like the little knob in this image...

lindr-font-gold.thumb.jpg.17cf4d21d6aabc28747cf06a32ea4c91.jpg

But they're not common in the UK (they are on the continent) as you don't really want bar staff playing with it. More commonly here, there's an in line adjuster just under the pumps, like these.

images.jpg.f9edd65ae414c60d9893c66456524b51.jpg

I imagine it's more difficult, and further back along the python, for an MDU setup though, but I don't really know.

For what it's worth, in most 'tied' pubs, the landlord / landlady is advised to do very little in the cellar too, best left to the professionals. But we're a freehouse, so I have to do more than most, unfortunately. I need to fit a new valve to one of our CO2 cask breathers / aspirators this week... I'd never do that myself if we were tied.

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Good info - I love a niche topic!  There is one obvious difference between a bulk festival bar and a pub: the automatic pouring of calibrated measures at the press of a button.  (Do any pubs have this?)  From my day job, I know that flow meters are expensive, maintenance-heavy and (some types would be) extremely difficult to sterilise.  So I reckon the calibrated measurement is probably done by timers, which are cheap-as-chips and don't need to come into  contact with the product.  Could problems therefore be caused by variations in pressure (gas or product) which a dumb timer wouldn't be able to cope with.  E.g. if the cider was restricted by a blockage or an empty keg, the system would carry on blasting the CO2 for the allotted time, with only a small amount of liquid to absorb it? 

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1 hour ago, Mark E. Spliff said:

Good info - I love a niche topic!  There is one obvious difference between a bulk festival bar and a pub: the automatic pouring of calibrated measures at the press of a button.  (Do any pubs have this?)  From my day job, I know that flow meters are expensive, maintenance-heavy and (some types would be) extremely difficult to sterilise.  So I reckon the calibrated measurement is probably done by timers, which are cheap-as-chips and don't need to come into  contact with the product.  Could problems therefore be caused by variations in pressure (gas or product) which a dumb timer wouldn't be able to cope with.  E.g. if the cider was restricted by a blockage or an empty keg, the system would carry on blasting the CO2 for the allotted time, with only a small amount of liquid to absorb it? 

Way back in the 70s/80s we had metered pumps fo cask ales. The pump had a glass tube like a syringe on top of the bar. You pressed a button and a plunger moved from one side of the tube to the other and dispensed a half pint. Press it again and the plunger moved back again and made it a pint. 
Dont know why they stopped using them cost reliability or accuracy. Maybe because you couldn’t adjust the flow if you had a young lively barrel 

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2 hours ago, Mark E. Spliff said:

Good info - I love a niche topic!  There is one obvious difference between a bulk festival bar and a pub: the automatic pouring of calibrated measures at the press of a button.  (Do any pubs have this?)  From my day job, I know that flow meters are expensive, maintenance-heavy and (some types would be) extremely difficult to sterilise.  So I reckon the calibrated measurement is probably done by timers, which are cheap-as-chips and don't need to come into  contact with the product.  Could problems therefore be caused by variations in pressure (gas or product) which a dumb timer wouldn't be able to cope with.  E.g. if the cider was restricted by a blockage or an empty keg, the system would carry on blasting the CO2 for the allotted time, with only a small amount of liquid to absorb it? 

We have access to MDUs for events. We have to book them in with our preferred brewer, (Heineken at the moment.) They usually loan them to us for free, come out and set them up etc. I've used an MDU that we borrowed once, but it was only a 6 pint one, similar to the one below (although not identical) and definitely seemed slower than the ones in use at Glastonbury.

DSC1561_2048x.thumb.png.43678fc85ff8bba2d8265ea4f182183a.png

The workings of it, up until the actual MDU itself, were identical to a normal cellar setup, gas and product into a coupler, then cellar buoy, then python, then MDU. Each nozzle on the MDU got it's own line within the python, but I think there was only 3 cellar buoys, so 2 lines each.

DSC1569_2048x.thumb.png.30400245a41573797a3779c53b141c5e.png

I doubt a bigger MDU would work like this though, probably a much bigger line feeding all nozzles, otherwise there'd need to be a lot of cellar buoys. But I don't know about the bigger ones to be honest, so maybe they do work the same. 

I can't answer your question though I'm afraid. But it sounds plausible. Actually higher pressure is more likely to cause excess head from what I understand. I've never experienced it, but apparently if the pressure is too high throughout an entire vessel / container, (keg in our case) then by the time you get to the last quarter of that keg, the top layer of beer will become saturated with CO2, then as you dispense this, the final quarter of the keg, it will be nothing but foam. But like I said, this shouldn't happen, because a regulator should prevent this, and I've never experienced it.  

As far as empty kegs go, there are several methods to prevent gas continuing to fill the line. We used to use a simple manual float system, like this... 

10.jpg.6bc534256177e5f1c39291cec50a7478.jpg

This is what is called a 'Cellar Buoy.' When the beer runs out, the float drops, and blocks the gas from entering the lines. When you connect a new barrel you simply refill or bleed the cellar buoy (by pushing down on the top.) This means you don't get any excess foam in between barrels.

Now we use a fancy electrical system called 'smart dispense' which not only serves this function, but automatically bleeds itself when you connect a new barrel, and also monitors temperature and flow readings to ensure quality is maintained. 

Edited by Alvoram
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One of bar staff at the Ridge and Furrow on wednesady evening was really put out that I brought a bad pint of Otter Ale back. I saw them tilting the barrel when it was being poured and it was like soup. How dare I not want the shits at glastonbury! 😄

 

 

Edited by kerplunk
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4 hours ago, Alvoram said:

The workings of it...

 

Thanks.  Next year, I'm probably going to get booted out of the festival for making a nuisance of myself out back in the cellar...

 

 

3 hours ago, kerplunk said:

One of bar staff at the Ridge and Furrow on wednesady evening was really put out that I brought a bad pint of Otter Ale back. I saw them tilting the barrel when it was being poured and it was like soup. How dare I not want the shits at glastonbury! 😄

 

The barrels of real ale supplied for use at Glastonbury is supposed to be 'bright beer' which is basically real ale without the sediment - so you can throw it off the back of a lorry, onto racks and tip out the dregs without worrying about leaving it for hours for it to settle.  That's probably why the bar staff was looking bemused - a bad pint is not supposed to happen.  I don't doubt that it did, but it would have been a curveball for them.

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On 7/7/2024 at 8:24 PM, MEGATRONICMEATWAGON said:

Not exactly a beer price related question, but were some of the smaller bars just pouring cans of cider/beer into a cup and then serving it again this year?

 

The waste is so unnecessary.

Yes, certainly true at the bar just north of the Glade. They served cans and asked if you wanted it poured into a cup.

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12 hours ago, Mark E. Spliff said:

 

Thanks.  Next year, I'm probably going to get booted out of the festival for making a nuisance of myself out back in the cellar...

 

 

 

The barrels of real ale supplied for use at Glastonbury is supposed to be 'bright beer' which is basically real ale without the sediment - so you can throw it off the back of a lorry, onto racks and tip out the dregs without worrying about leaving it for hours for it to settle.  That's probably why the bar staff was looking bemused - a bad pint is not supposed to happen.  I don't doubt that it did, but it would have been a curveball for them.

Sorry to wade in again, but we’ve had issues with pre conditioned beer too. A lot of breweries were offering it during covid to keep waste down for pubs. (Including transferring it to key kegs / polly kegs after conditioning, if you needed extra life.) 

 

Problem was that they still condition it the same way we would in the cellar, then they transfer it to another vessel. If they inadvertently transfer some of the bottom part of the barrel then you get some sediment too. 😞 

 

I wonder if that’s what happened here. It’s likely if they’re doing it the same way. (Although maybe there’s a better way to do it scale.) 

 

I don’t know why people think you can get ill from it, but not from drinking unfined / hazybeer, though… Always puzzled me 🙈😂

Edited by Alvoram
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