Thursday, 9 February 2012

Modifying Pump Clips.

Pump Clips are just the (usually) plastic badges that the breweries supply to pubs, to advertise what Cask Ales are for sale. In a Freehouse like mine which has regularly changing ales, the breweries just supply the plastic ones, to keep costs down, but where an ale is a permanent feature, many breweries supply quality ceramic, enamel or sometimes clay pump clips.
I already have a large bag full of used pump clips, as we have sold well over fifty different ales in the two months that we have been open. I'm pretty sure that the buggers multiply in there. There are definitely some clips in there for beers that we have never had in the cellar.
Anyhow, sometimes we have to modify the pump clips that we are given. Sometimes this is because a brewery has made a cock up and forgotten to supply us with the correct clips, sometimes it is us that make the cock up, or sometimes the production of the clips gets delayed by whoever makes them, as is the case with the Arbor Ales clip. Marynka (no I can't pronounce it either), is the latest of Jon's successful and acclaimed Single Hop series; each named after the hop that was used. And very nice it is too. (We had a young couple come in the other day, proclaiming that they only ever drank lager. One free sample later, and the both of them are happily drinking ale for the very first time.)

The modified Bath Ales clip is a different matter altogether. I'll probably get intro trouble for this, but hey, who wants a boring life. For the last twelve or so years, Bath Ales have been producing a highly drinkable beer called Barnstormer. This was named after a bloke called Stuart Barnes who apparently played rugby for some teams. (Huge bloke. I met him once. Roger told me to look after him. I have never seen anybody in less want of needing to be looked after.) However, some large, faceless drinks company headed by a man who was obviously bullied as a child also makes a drink called Barnstormer. Unlike it's namesake, this Barnstormer calls itself a cider, but you and I wouldn't call it such. We would all call it a shit, sickly concoction that only tramps and student drink. But as is the way with these evil companies, they apparently decided to trademark the name for themselves and then told Bath Ales that they had to change the name of their beer. So when, last week, I ordered a few barrels of the old favourite, they turned up with the new pump clip, titled Barnsey. I'm not having that, so one evening after a few (many) pints, I decided to change the badge back to it's old name.
Although it could have been executed far better, I like to think that I have added a unique sense of style to the pump clip. :)

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