No, I’m not going to be talking about the kind you drink on St. Patrick’s Day! I’m going to briefly talk about beer makers that are consciously pushing toward “self-sustaining brewing” by applying some practical, and sometimes money-saving, techniques to their everyday operations.
Sustainability is a term that has become widely used to describe the planning, design and implementation of green building and business strategies that promote the responsible use of natural resources, or sometimes defined as: “achieving a balanced union of ecological harmony, social enlightenment, and economic vitality”.
The green beer helps green sustainability
Even in my home town, high in the Colorado Rockies, the local brewery has joined the ranks of the green sustainability! The Aspen Brewing Company (ABC) is making great strides by implementing measures which minimizes their carbon footprint on the old mining town, turned world-class resort. The ABC uses wise water use practices by recycling the water used to chill the beer as it comes out of the brew kettle. They also sell the spent grain used to make the beer to local farms, where they raise pigs, chickens, and cattle.
Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen is a recent movie about a 21st century author/protagonist that sips cocktails (possibly Bellinis) and exchanges dialogue with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, and Pablo Picasso, among others, at late-night summer cocktail parties in 1920’s Paris, France. The film is mainly about a successful Hollywood screenwriter’s imaginary journey back in time to a romanticized Paris, where some of the “real” writers and artists of the era spent time creating and carousing their way through life.The wonderful elegance and laid-back sophistication of Midnight in Paris is reflected in the main ingredient of the Bellini cocktail – Prosecco.
Let’s talk about Bellini cocktail – Prosecco.
The Bellini cocktail was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. The drink was named after the color of a saint’s toga in a painting by Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini. The original Harry’s Bar is where the likes of Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis and Orson Welles were introduced to the Bellini, and probably to Prosecco itself. Bellinis’ are made from a mixture of Prosecco and the puree of fresh white peaches. There are many variations on the recipes these days (some substituting champagne for Prosecco), mainly due to the lack of availability of fresh white peach puree. That is why an enterprising Frenchmen began an exporting business some time ago to ship fresh puree to Harry’s Bar locations in Venice and New York City. Okay enough about the Bellini already…on to Prosecco!
Warning: this is not going to be a rant about a major issue in this country or this world right now, but just a rant about some certain types of customers I have had in the bar over the past week. Writing about it isn’t going to change anything, but at least I am going to be able to get it off my chest and move on to bigger and better rants.
How foreigners use to behave in London Bars
I’m sure most foreigners who come to UK peruse a guide book or two, look online for tips, good places to go, where to eat, where to drink and all of that. Even if I like an adventure when I go off to explore a new country I always look up what the customs are and if there is anything I should know (for example, taxis charge tourists triple in Egypt so you should avoid them if you are broke). Every single guide book on the UK tells you that service is NOT included in restaurants and bars. Yes, NOT included. This means that you should leave a tip.
Customary tips are 12-15% after tax in restaurants, 12%-15% for cab rides and probably a pound or two per drink in a bar. If you don’t tip you are either extremely rude and/or you are unhappy with the service, and if it’s the latter should explain why to a manager so that they can put it right.
Most people who work in the service industry get an extremely low hourly wage or shift pay, or none at all, so they literally LIVE OFF the money they make in tips. These tips don’t go towards new shoes, dresses, expensive and frivolous items. They go towards rent, bills and food to survive. Most people I have encountered are good tippers, they know the rules and to be honest for every bad tipper there are always at least 2 good tippers, so I don’t ever really complain about it. Until you get multiple different groups of foreigners in the bar at different times in the space of a few days, ALL of whom acted in the same way.
But not all the foreigners use to behave in the same way
The first group of four Polish people (I think – they were speaking some type of Slavic language) got 5 drinks (after tasting a couple of beers and deciding on a local draft beer). They paid, didn’t tip and went to the back room where they lingered over their drinks for a while. Once they had gone I went to clear their glasses… And they had STOLEN one. Yes, I know the Coney Island beer pint glass is kind of quirky and cute, but come on!! If they had asked I would have sold them one!! Just after they left a couple of Brazilians walked in and sat at the end of the bar.