The “Beer” House at Manchester Victoria Station – Addendum

A short follow up to my post on The Beer House at Manchester Victoria Station

I was shocked by the popularity of the above post, the views are still ticking over to this day, it opened up some more avenues in my head.

Much feedback was from people who despite the misgivings they had for the place still have to go and “tick it off.”

For those who were wondering about the £4.80 a pint for Jaipur, bear in mind that it is £2.50 for a half, so they also do that bullshit half pint mark-up.

A few days after the post I was followed by someone who works at The Beer House (I take that at face value) and I had to clarify that the post was not in reference to how the staff were; I never had dealings with them, they never saw any of my cash, the post was just about the completely missed opportunity to give a captive audience good beer at a reasonable price.

Said Beer House staffer tweeted this a few days weeks ago…


Manchester Victoria Station – a place undergoing a multi-million pound revamp but the trains are still old diesel units and the electric trains they are introducing are not only old themselves but they also take up valuable platform space so said Pacer Units have to wait aimlessly outside the station adding to the already non-apologised late running “service,” that passengers pay for at massively inflated prices.

The Beer House – a place that has undergone a multi-thousand pound revamp but still stocks the same old, tired beers and “new beers” which are just old ones with a marketing re-badge, all at massively inflated prices.

But I suppose if your audience is captive then you can treat them like the hostages of misfortune they are and so to that end they are very much taking their cues from Northern Rail and the completely disregard they have for their passengers.

Some things are just made for each other.


A good write up about Doombar can be found here Goblet & Mug

The Tipping Point

A while back on twitter I asked what people thought was an acceptable tip to had over to a bar hand.

I raised this question because people had long told me the unwritten rule was 20 pence (it’s how much Leigh fans bought a flute for when they had some sense and about 50 cents in US monies).

The answers I got back ranged from confirming the 20 pence “standard” to saying that some might go up to a quid, but would usually expect about 50 pence as a maximum.

My mum (a former bar maid) and a friend who is one also confirmed they would take 20p, though my mum would point out that 20p back when she worked was worth a hell of a lot more than it is now.

There are of course stories of customers putting an actual drink on behind the bar for the staff once the shift has ended and other such pleasantries.

I hate the 5 pence coin, so if I ever get a drink that is between 5 to 15 pence short of the whole pound I’ll let the staff keep it.  But in my twattish way I won’t actually say “round it up” or “call it £X,” I’ll just walk away from the bar and hope, as has happened, that I don’t get chased down by some worried employee determined to had over the loose change, which in this day and age of the easily offended and of litigation-happy people I can quite understand.

There was also a discussion about how let the bar keep know you wanted to tip them.

“And yours” seemed  most popular, I go with “(and) one for yourself” – which last year in London lead to a novel situation.

Having spent about 4 hours in one bar marvelling over and obviously massively indulging in the beer selection I felt it only proper to tip the bar staff.  As an aside I don’t wait four hours, I have no set time of when I tip or indeed if I do, this is not some moralist hang-wringing piece nor is it a rant worthy of Mr. Pink.

So I got my final drink(s) and said “one for yourself,” to which I was then surprised as the bar (man in this instance) picked up his clean glass and proceed to inspect what he had been selling before informing me he’d have a half of one of the drinks I just ordered, he then gave me my change.

However I didn’t find this to be a giant piss-take.  It was a first and it has never happened since but the guy could have gone full on £11-a-pint if he’d wanted to but instead merely matched my drink.

Which also married up with a lot of “warnings” about how people take the inflections of the phrases used to instigate a tip in different parts of the country.  Not that I wish to infer that this practice is either common or exclusive to London.

But back to my original light bulb moment, I asked about tipping because I was in a Greater Manchester pub and after sitting down with my first drink I could hear the distinct sound of pound coins hitting the tip glass (fashioned out of a pint nonik rather than the usual half or shorts glass).

Now either the punters were very generous tippers or that was how much the bar (maid in this instance) thought that is how much the tip should be.  Whether this was a conclusion she had come to herself or it was a direction from the pub got me thinking about who informs on bar staff how much to take for a tip.

When you think about it, given that a pint in this pub was an average of about £3.50 that works out as approximately a 30% tip.

Then also a while back (as I do take far to long to write these posts), in between a lot of tweets by people with sand in their vaginas I can across this post by Benjamin Nunn and though it wasn’t anything related to the post’s rant it did ring my alarm bell:

“To my mind, this is the equivalent of a 20 pence tip – more insulting than ignoring it altogether!”

With all that has gone on recently about companies taken employee tips either in the full or at a charge if the payment has been made by card it does make you wonder that if 20p is seen as patronising and maybe it is in places where living costs are higher it is, perhaps  we shouldn’t begrudge those taking a bit more than the “standard.”

Would appreciate comments and opinions on this, stick them below…

Mr. Pink, for those who don’t get the reference