WAIT! What did he just say?!?

Published March 5, 2015 by lynn k scott

This particular post is inspired by Josh Wrenn’s post: https://myfridayblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/10-reasons-for-british-jealousy/#comment-606.

Years ago, when I first came to CA, I worked in a British pub.  It wasn’t the typical America bar, but really had a pub feel to it. It was started by a couple from England.  We would get quite a few visitors from England, Ireland, Scotland, Whales, and even Finland.  Lord…those Scottish and Irish accents had me swooning…oops (that was an inside thought).

The menu was authentic, before the “Americanized” it to attract the locals.  All the beers on tap were imports.   We had a nice patio where patrons could drink and have a smoke.  I remember my first week there.  An English gentleman was getting ready to head out to the patio.  I saw him pick up his pint and then heard him say, “I’m going outside to smoke a fag”.

Being the history buff that I am, I immediately conjured up of a 30s mobster (perhaps one of Capone’s henchmen), dressed in a pinstriped suit, holding a tommy gun and ready to shoot some poor unsuspecting gay guy.  My coworkers had a good laugh at that one.  It took me a few minutes to remember my British lingo and remind myself that he was having a cigarette.

Then we move onto the food.  Bangers and mash.  I’m in California now.  A banger is a “gang-banger”; a thug.  Who named a sausage after a thug?   Really now?  Why not just call it a sausage?  The next food “hurdle” was “mushy peas”.  Pretty self explanatory.  Peas that a mushed up.  I can only imagine that perhaps one of the Royal children made this popular.  They weren’t bad (I love peas), but they didn’t stand up the, “eat with your eyes first” test.

I did have to stop the occasional British parent from letting his child “sip” some beer.  Sorry folks, but you’re not in Kansas (or the UK) anymore and that’s a BIG NO-NO stateside.

My last poignant memory was working my first and only evening, in a British pub on St. Patrick’s Day.  Good grief!  First, luckily we knew what our regulars drank.  Second, it was loud as if the World Cup was being played in the bar.  You really had to lean in close to hear what was being ordered.  Not only what was being ordered, but what accent it was being ordered with!

My point on that was, a very popular drink, which you may have heard of is the Black and Tan.  Now, there is some discrepancy with this particular drink.  It’s made one of two ways, esp. depending on who you’re serving.  Guinness beer, and Irish beer, is the bottom part of this drink.   It’s a stout beer, very thick, and black if you will.  Both versions of the drink utilize Guinness.  The difference takes place with the “tan” colored beer that’s poured on top.

If you’re servin’ an Irishman, then the only option is to make the drink with a Harp lager.  This of course, is another Irish beer. It has the color of Bud Light, if you will.  Now, if you’re serving and Englishman, then the other option is to use Bass ale. Typically, in the U.S., Black and Tans are make with Guinness and Bass.

However, like I said, in a British pub, when you look as Irish as I do (am 50% after all), and you hear an Irish accent, you totally play into the drink can only be made with Guinness and Harp.  Aye, ’tis no other option, now is there?  Take from me, there isn’t.  They will send it back to the bar if it’s made “wrong”.  If you get it right though, they tip you will for knowin’ yer beers!

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12 comments on “WAIT! What did he just say?!?

  • In my experience, a Black & Tan is Guinness and Bass and is more popular with the Brits…the Guinness & Harp layered beer is a Half & Half which is more popular with the Irish. Even my Half & Half Guinness & Harp Pint glasses from my collection say Half & Half.

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