English has several idioms that mean basically the same thing: To "Con" or to "Gip" someone means to deal with them unfairly. The terms come from the words "Convict" and "Gipsy" respectively, with the second one reflecting the popular belief that Gipsies were thieves.
mention this because over the last couple of years that I've been
pouring beer for people I've come to the conclusion that Israelis tend
to think that whenever I pour them a beer, I'm trying to "Gip" them by
giving them a beer with, heaven forbid, a visible head of foam on it.
seem to think that foam is a vise, and that it has no place in a beer
cup. That I pour them foam because I'm trying to save on beer and steal
their money. The Irony is that Israelis also really love Wheat beer,
which is the biggest head-producing style there is. The combination of
these two factors often lead to unhappy customers that, having been
conditioned by low-head, low taste lagers, complain to me about only
pouring them half a beer, and trying to save on them.
If anyone serves you a beer that doesn't have any head on it, send it back. It's bad.
(brewers) put a lot of effort into our head. We mix in special grains,
fiddle with carbonation, beer line length, and aeration, and have a
standard of glass cleaning that wouldn't be out of place in a hospital.
All to make sure that when you get a glass of beer, it'll have a nice
cap of foam on it. When you insist on not having the foam, you're
insulting the beer, and you're insulting the brewer.
the thing is, beer is not only a a drink, it's an experience that
involves all five senses. It's not just something you drink, it's
something you smell, and feel, and look at. A clear body topped with a
tall foamy cap is a beautiful thing. Take a moment to admire your beer
before you guzzle it down. If your only purpose for drinking is to get
drunk then, frankly, there are faster, easier choices. Beer, good beer,
is an experience to be savored.
In this context I want
to take a moment to thank whoever it was who came up with the notion of
putting measure lines on beer cups. It's great. It lets me, as a beer
server, show the customer that I'm not cheating them. That they actually
got the full third or half liter they paid for, and then some in the
form of foam. People don't like to feel like they're getting taken
advantage of, I understand that. And even though that feeling is the
result of their own lack of understanding, it's much easier to make the
point when they have visual confirmation. In other words, it's easier
for me to say "no no, it's suppose to look like that" and make it stick.
In the hope that if I say that enough time to enough people eventually
some of them will change the way they see the drink.
come slowly. But it does come. I do see people who take my beer, look
at it, smell it, feel it, taste it in small sips instead of throwing it
down. We're working against a long tradition of "quaffing" and "throwing
back a pint". And while you can rile against people's ignorance, it
does no good to yell. It's better to try to educate, one drinker at a
So I keep pouring, and (when I have the time) I
talk to people about the experience of beer. And I invite them to visit
our local brew pub and enjoy a real drink. And I keep dreaming. I dream
of the day when someone hands me back a glass and says "I don't like
this, it doesn't have enough head on it..."