New bar ditches pint pot in pursuit of better boozing

Pic Greg Macvean, 06/06/2012, Mr Modos pub on Lothian Road which is being taken over by a new owner
Pic Greg Macvean, 06/06/2012, Mr Modos pub on Lothian Road which is being taken over by a new owner
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FOR most beer lovers a pub without pints might seem a pub without point.

But two city entrepreneurs hope to convince drinkers that big isn’t always beautiful by banishing pint pots from their new venue – all in the pursuit of better boozing.

When it opens, The Hanging Bat bar on Lothian Road, formerly Mr Modos, will become perhaps the first in the Capital to serve none of its beer in pint measures. A two-thirds measure will be the largest available.

Owners Chris Mair and Gavin Ferguson said the move would enable customers to enjoy fully carbonated, flavoursome beer for longer.

Mr Mair, 35, said: “A lot of the beer we’ll be serving will be more alcoholic than normal. When you get to the last third of the pint, the beer is flat, it’s warm and you’re not getting the quality you bought originally.

“In Germany, they regularly only sell beer in a 250cl glass because it means you get a fresh beer for the entire time.”

Mr Mair denied banning pint glasses was a strategy for charging customers extra.

He said: “A two-thirds measure of one of our house beers will be significantly less than £3. We certainly won’t be charging extortionate prices.”

Calum Carmichael, 26, who will manage the new bar, said the venture would mark a change in the city’s drinking culture. He said: “The beer scene is rapidly changing. People are tending towards the higher-quality end of the scale.

“I think there’s a number of bars already that serve good quality beer in tight measures.

“For us it’s about quality – we’re mainly serving stronger beers, and people don’t want to be drinking full pints of those.”

As well as banishing pints, The Hanging Bat’s owners want to test the boundaries further by opening a microbrewery on the premises and encouraging customers to sign up for beermaking lessons.

Mr Mair said: “We’ll be talking to people about the brewing process and allowing them to be part of it.”

Edinburgh beer blogger Richard Taylor said he believed the venture would be a success. He added: “Beer is changing – it’s now increasingly an artisan product so you can serve it in smaller quantities.

“None of the serious beer bars in America and Belgium sell pints. For them, it’s about savouring the experience.”

CONTINENTAL STYLE

If you ever travel to the Continent and drink beer there they often give it to you in smaller volumes, and there are very good reasons for doing that.

Beer changes as soon as it’s in the glass. It starts to warm up and when you get to the back-end of the pint, it will have lost carbon dioxide and a lot of foam.

In Europe, it just seems to be us and the Germans who like beer in large volumes. If you’re in a strong beer culture like Belgium, you don’t often see beer being drunk from a pint glass.

It can certainly impact on the quality of the drinking experience if you go for a smaller measure – simply because you are replacing the liquid in the glass more frequently.