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who serves the best

On 15 Jan 2011 at 12:12pm lewesbeerdrinker wrote:
It's a simple question, who serves the best pint of Harveys in Lewes and surrounding areas?
On 15 Jan 2011 at 12:53pm Kenny wrote:
Went into the Swan recently after being rather disappointed by what they were serving at the Kings head.
Found all the Harveys to be in excellent form. Tried the best bitter, the old, a half of christmas ale. All in perfect form and no grumbles.
Tried the ration ale last night when with friends and found it very drinkable.
For me it would be the Swan
On 15 Jan 2011 at 5:16pm king cnut wrote:
Dorset Arms is always well kept. The Old this year has been terrific, no matter where I've tried it!!
On 15 Jan 2011 at 6:15pm Harveyman wrote:
Lots of good Harveys in and around Lewes but for me the place that consistently keeps a lovely pint is the Horns Lodge in South Chailey. Never had anything other than a good pint there.
On 15 Jan 2011 at 6:45pm Matt Kent wrote:
I don't drink there regularly, but The Dorset serves its Harveys very well.
On 15 Jan 2011 at 7:13pm Cynic wrote:
When you go up to London what do you reckon the best beer you can get up there is? I'm always partial to Young's.
On 15 Jan 2011 at 7:33pm jrsussex wrote:
Always mystyfied me how when a keg of beer is being sold (let's say an 11gallon keg - 88 pints) how you could serve that throughout the day with some customers just drinking it, others saying it was a nice pint. Then one customer complains that the beer is "not good", if that is true then there is an externel reason, dirty glass possibly or something the customer has eaten, staff have accidentally knocked the keg etc, In a keg of 88 pints you cannot have one pint that is bad, it is impossible. You can have a keg in which all the beer is bad but not one pint.
On 15 Jan 2011 at 10:32pm Fred wrote:
Many reasons jrsussex and it depends on what situation you have?
If you serve the pint and they pick it up and look at it, they will say "Is that all right"
Best response = You drink with your mouth not your eyes.
They bring a half drunk pint back to the bar and say "that doesn't taste right"
Best Response = Well you have managed to drink half of it so it can't be that much of a problem.
Bar Staff know when a drink is right and when it is wrong! And usually people who complain have never drunk the stuff before and want to act like an arse in front of their mates!
As long as it isn't the first pint out of the line, the staff haven't knocked the barrel then it is usually one customer being fussy for the hell of it!
I wouldn't worry about it mate
On 15 Jan 2011 at 10:35pm Ben wrote:
Never been happy with a pint at the Dorset!
Seems strange that it is comes from about 500 yards away.
Always seems a bit dirty! Had a pint in there new years day and for the last time! and it was really cloudy, took it back to the bar, they went and changed the barrel and it was still cloudy.
Asked for a pint of Old Ale instead and it seemed to taste a bit off to me.
Definately not my pub for Harveys any more
On 15 Jan 2011 at 10:59pm queequeg wrote:
You would think that the John Harvey Tavern would walk away with this award but strangely their lack of a cellar seems a big handicap. Harvey's best is a very variable drink I know but I have seldom been disappointed at the White Hart and St Mary's Social Club produces a very potable pint of best, and they too suffer from the lack of a cellar.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 12:34am jrsussex wrote:
Fred - You seem to have some knowledge of pub customers and the strokes they try to pull. When complaining of the taste I could never believe the ones who said "Try that", which I never did. Why would you want to drink a beer that some other person has had a gulp of? Also those who initially order a pint then try to spend the rest of the session have a half-pint top-up when actually it is about two thirds they get, if the licensee falls for it which I never did. When they ordered the half-pint I served it in a half-pint glass (very often to the comment "Don't worry guv'nor, I'll have it in the same glass") I often wondered if my face was exceptionally hairy.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 1:22am Applecart wrote:
Being a glass half empty type, wouldn't it be more valuable to know which establishments serve poor pints of Harveys and should be avoided?
I suggest Pelham House - not a pub but a damn poor excuse for a pint of best - warm, flacid and tasteless, come on!
On 16 Jan 2011 at 1:26am Fred wrote:
Well technically it is illegal for a barman to fill a glass up due to weights and measures acts! So should always be measured out in a half glass. Obviously Landlords can use their discretion e.t.c but technically a half pint should be served in its named glass.
When people say try that, pull a half off the pump and taste it and say its spot on mate! Obviously it has to still be the same barrel.
If all else fails suggest they drink something else or drink lager if they are worried about tasting something.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 9:17am 'ere be monsters wrote:
The Gardeners
On 16 Jan 2011 at 9:39am stevied wrote:
Worst Harveys in Lewes that I've had was in Lincolns - ice cold and tasteless!
On 16 Jan 2011 at 10:11am huw wrote:
I'm a late comer on this but lets clear a few things up. JR, you should know not to refer to Harveys as being in a keg, which is a presurised container with a homogenous liquid inside, but a cask. Harkeys stopped doing keg beer some time ago, I think I only saw one go out of the door when I worked there.
Harveys is a variable pint due to it being hand primed, racked and finned at different points, and because they brew in a much more traditional manner. It's quality can be affected by time of year, where in the brewery it has been stored, which batch it is from and if the filter plug was in the brewing tun at the time. Also, with Harveys, you can end up with layering, whereby a layer of finnings is inexplicably floating in the middle of the barrel.
All of these things, a licensee cannot change. They can make sure that it is stored correctly at their end, spiled and vented correctly, lines and glasses are clean. Also, as pointed out before, the lines should be pulled through so no one gets the beer that has been sat there all night. Over the course of service the CO2 blanket that the live beer produces will begin to colapse and oxygen will come into contact with the beer "turning" it faster. So, some people can tell when the barrel is getting to the end by the taste, even though the beer is not off it may not be at it's best.
What the customer has eaten dirrectly before they drink can have a real affect on the perceived taste of the beer. I have one customer who repeatedly complained his first pint was horrible, after months of this I would serve him a glass of water before he was allowed to order a drink. Problem solved.
Lesson over, and as for the best pint, changes all the time, just like the Harveys.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 10:37am 'ere be monsters wrote:
There we've all been told.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 10:43am huw wrote:
Sorry for the lecture.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 12:19pm jrsussex wrote:
Huw - Apologies for referring to a Harveys container as a keg. The rest of your rather interesting information I am aware of.
One comment I will make is that in the closing years of my operating in the licensed trade I did stop selling real ales etc. The bigger part of my reasoning for that was slow sales. I would not sell any barrel/keg product that did not sell within three days, coupled with customer stupidity such as holding the glass up to the light (very poor in many pubs) and declaring the pints as not being up to standard. As previously mentioned in another post "drinking with their eyes". The most ridiculous example being that in an area of one of my pubs I had interior red downlights, a customer (member of CAMRA he proudly announced) held his pint up to that light and declared the pint to be no good.
Not selling a product within three days was not due to a lack of customers. My premises used to be city/town centre. fairly large with substantial trade.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 12:33pm Vesbod wrote:
You haven't lived until you've drunk Brains S A - best beer in the world - from Wales of course !
On 16 Jan 2011 at 12:35pm huw wrote:
JR, it's wonderful how every customer is an expert on real ale, but you can sell a beer from the same barrel to consecutive customers, one will think it's a great pint and another will ask for a refund.
Saying that, if customers don't give you constructive criticism, you may not know if you have a problem cask.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 1:19pm jrsussex wrote:
Huw - Last word on this subject but have to comment on your last sentence. You are of course correct in that if a product, be it drink, food or service, is lacking then mention it, preferably to the boss or his management, but if not available to the staff.
The good publican would rather you make him/her aware of the problem rather that have you complaining to other local people or on forums such as this. If your complaint is justified any good publican will work to put the problem right. If they do not then that becomes a very real reason for the customer not to continue to use those premises.
One very good tip, complain firmly but be polite. Rude, aggressive complaints usually get you no-where.
On 16 Jan 2011 at 1:35pm huw wrote:
Vesbod, we'll have some Skull Attack coming in for the Six Nations. Come in for a tipple.
JR, you're right on that, complain politely as a customer, act on a complaint if you're doing the serving.
On 17 Jan 2011 at 8:35am Vesbod wrote:
Huw - I'll be there !!
On 17 Jan 2011 at 2:01pm Harvey wrote:
As a regular drinker of Harveys best and it being my only tipple can't help laughing at the above comments, most of which have come from ex bar persons! I can drink 15-20 pints of the stuff every week and do think I know a good pint from a bad one.
Good Pubs+Gardeners Arms (best pint in Lewes by far)
Elephant And Castle.(A good pint)
Bad Pubs-Dorset Arms(Not a good pint at all)
JHT(stored and poored badly, Horrendous pint often cloudy)
The JHT often tilts it's barrels as it become empty causing all sediment to move.
I gather the Dorset's problems are lack of sales causing the barrels to sit for over the normal 2-3 days.
The volunteer also doesnt do a good pint but gather it's mainly a lager pub!
Please dont say that every pint out of a barrel should taste the same as it doesn't! I have ordered 3 pints at once and got a foul smelling cloudy pint when the other 2 were good! (JHT)
On 17 Jan 2011 at 2:37pm huw wrote:
Harvey, as my comment above says, at different points in a barrel (especially of Harveys) you will get a different quality pint.
As to the JHT, most cellars will employ spring loaded stillages to get the most out of a barrel, you have to be careful not to draw too much though otherwise you will end up with a pint full of sediment, which lays at the bottom of the cask. Unfortunately, with the JHT you can see this in action and therefore you assume that if the cask is tilting you will get a bad pint (not always the case if you sell the beer quick enough and the CO2 blanket's collapse willl not have had time to affect the quality of the beer).
Thanks for the compliment on the beer here.
On 17 Jan 2011 at 3:27pm bastian wrote:
Lewes arms pulls the best pint,there is such a thing as good celler keeping and they are always fresh because they sell alot of it,thanks to their regulars.I used to be a member of CAMRA in my youth,Some cloud is due to low temperature in the celler.
On 19 Jan 2011 at 11:48am scotttom wrote:

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