Defending My Right To Breathe Clean Air At Work

This piece was featured on The BeerCast, below is just a snippet.

As part of my job as a bartender I pride myself on going above and beyond whatever the customer asks of me in the name of good service, all I ask for in return is good etiquette. This request is honoured almost every time, with the exception of a few forgotten Ps and Qs, allowing me to enjoy my job and my guests to enjoy their time in the bar. However, within the past year a new threat to this harmonious balance has appeared: a neon blue glue appears at the corner of a customer’s mouth, partnered seconds later by a white plume which is then followed by an acrid aroma, peculiar and unwelcome, that lingers in the air for minutes. Continue reading

What is ‘Craft Beer’?

Another installment in my series for This Greedy Pig.

What is Craft beer?

A craft is defined as ‘a pastime or profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work’ and is ‘usually applied to products produced on a small scale’. Although brewing is without doubt a kind of skilled work ‘craft beer’ is a term that seems to elude precise definition. Growth in sales of craft beer over the past few years have been enormous and it is the current trending niche amongst operators. However this massive growth has attracted big companies looking to cash in on the craft brand, leading to a dilution in its definition. There isn’t a real straightforward answer to what craft beer is. But I believe there are minimum criteria that must be met to genuinely be considered craft.

Actually Making The Beer

This one seems to be patently obvious, surely to sell a craft beer you actually have to make it yourself? Yet some people fall at this first tiny hurdle along the path to being craft. Marketing company Innis and Gunn are launching a new range of products early this year and are not shy about jumping on the craft bandwagon.

Click here for more.

Being Human

This is the first in a series of fortnightly posts to fashion designer This Greedy Pig’s blog.

In the first of a series of articles considering the wonderful ways of all things wet and intoxicating I’d like to begin by establishing some basic ground rules for obtaining and serving said elixirs in a public environment.

Too long have simple errors been committed. Too hot burn the fires of contempt for the weekend warrior in the breasts of the world’s bartenders. I’d like to turn these uncontrolled infernos back into flames of passionate service and rectify the simple errors committed by the uninformed. We all need to learn how to be human.

Click here for the rest

 

Scottish Real Ale Festival – Opinion Piece

This is a brief OPINION piece I wrote in reaction to my visit to the CAMRA Scottish Real Ale Festival yesterday.

Picture the scene, a huge gathering of the best drinkers, drinking the best beers, brewed by the best breweries, in a country endowed with an incredible brewing scene. All of these passionate people under one roof, tittering at Tennent’s drinkers, hating Heineken fanboys, and frowning upon Foster’s fanatics. Continue reading

I’m the Fucking Bar Supervisor

The brief for this piece was arrogance and the workplace. This isn’t actually how i view myself.

Always handy to turn up fifteen minutes early, have a coffee and check out the scene. Lucky I have because it’s just gone 4:45pm on a Friday and the bar is already rammed. Just enough time to bolt downstairs get changed and steady the ship. As standard Mhairi is stressing, Sara is flapping about like an idiot, empty fridges, glasses piled up all over the shop, and my pristinely ironed shirt in the middle. Continue reading

Heartbeats (or the lack of)

First kiss, first love, that special first time. Nobody ever remembers the first time they had to tell someone that they don’t love them anymore. An ignorant child of seventeen I took the coward’s option of completely avoiding her for an entire month, no mean feat considering we were in the same year at school. That morning she sat doleful and saturnine in the window of the common room keeping watch for me, that morning I saw her doleful and saturnine and legged it down the back stairs. Continue reading