Yeah - I had plenty of condition on my Levitation Ale... so that was cool. But, I was talking to Martin Townshend today and was gonna grab a bag of Cathcarts off of him, but he said they get a bit flat in the bag. So I figured a sparkler would be the ticket. Plus - I was thinking I could re-use the bag... meaning that the sparkler would be a go. You dont have to squeeze the shit out of the pump and force the living shit out of it - just enough to form a cap on top. Nice?
I've never been to the UK before - so can't be fucked with the politics behind it all... At the end of the day - whats wrong with it so long as you get the desired result?
Plenty of life in the Ale - dont need one. A bit flat - better screw it on. It's all good.
Having said that though - I'm not sure that I've had an Ale pulled through a sparkler - better start paying more attention!
I spent a bit of time working in pubs around the UK, the sparkler seems to be a northern thing, the argument is the foam reduces the bitterness so the northern beers are over-bittered to compensate for the sparkler's effect, whereas the milder southern beers can be ruined by being served this way.
Sounds like a load of bollocks to me, but there you go.
I'm a fan of the sparkler on a real ale - so long as it's poured from the bottom up via the swan neck. Get it right and the beer 'folds' as it's poured - meaning it has to settle in the manner of a nitrogen pumped stout and creates a denser head foam.
It is definitely a north/south divide. I never saw sparklers on real ale taps until I went to live in York in 1991.