‘Can I have a half of the Stonecutter please?’
‘We only do halves of the Speights, Mac’s Gold and Guinness.’
‘Would you like a full?’
I didn’t want a full, I was driving. And it’s Stonecutter. It’s a 7% ABV Stotch Ale. It’s not like I asked for a half of a Radler. It’s a big-flavoured, big-hitting beer and I didn’t want a whole.
‘Where’s your beer?’ the guys asked me as I returned to our table.
‘They don’t do halves of the craft beers.’
‘What do they do halves of?’
‘Speights, Mac’s Gold and Guinness.’
‘Why only those?’
‘I don’t know.’
They turned it over it true pub-conversation styles and came up with a few theories, then quickly discarded each one. Tossed theories included: a lack of correct glasses; extra labour or training of staff; and loss of profit. All of these theories may have worked if they didn’t serve any halves, but they did of the mainstream stuff. Eventually one of the lads gave up and went and asked.
‘What did they say?’
‘It’s not keyed into the till.’
‘It’s not keyed into the till, so they can’t charge people for it.’
‘That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.’
‘Don’t they have a bloody misc key?’
‘Yeah, but then their staff would have to know how much they are.’
‘But they charge the same for a pint of the craft, any craft.’
‘I don’t know, I’m just the messenger!’
Now this scenario could be many things. You could look it as the fine-tuning of the Auckland craft beer scene, which we all contribute too. You could see it as a bunch of beer geeks being, well, pedantic beer geeks. You could perceive it as host-irresponsibility.
But on the whole, it just all seems…silly.