09:03 27 July 2009
Getting the head right on a pint is one of life's simple pleasures, but depending upon which side of England the drinker is it could become a different story.
Real ale fans in the north and south of England have forever been up in arms regarding what constitutes the perfect head on their pints. Should it be crisp and shallow or creamy and thick?
Now a versatile beer pump could give drinkers the option for themselves rather than relying on the bartender's discretion.
Brewer Greene King, based at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, hopes that his invention will encourage more people to try traditional cask-conditioned beer.
The Cask Revolution pump features an optional sparkler system. This is a nozzle with small perforated holes, which when depressed, agitates the beer when it is poured causing more froth.
With the sparkler turned on, the beer gains a thick, creamy head of tight bubbles - the traditionally head of the north.
However, without it only a thin head of loose bubbles remains perfect for the ale-drinker of the south.
Greene King head brewer John Bexon claims that the sparkler system also changes the texture and reduces the impression of bitterness in the ale.
To make ordering easier in the pub, the two styles have been titled Clean and Crisp (southern) and Smooth and Creamy (northern).
The new pump is going nationwide, adopting the top selling cask ale in the UK (Greene King's flagship IPA). The border-busting choice of heads should be available in more than 1,000 pubs in England over the next few months.
Justin Adams, managing director of Greene Kings brewing division, said: "The new high-tech beer engine will help create a new generation of drinkers."
Hopefully this will be the case. It has recently been revealed that British pubs are closing at a rate of 52 per week.
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