HACKNEY IS still setting style agendas, even as observers write off the hipster trend. As customers of the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston, and elsewhere in England, started to choose traditional pint mugs over straight glasses, national media has picked up on the trend.
For the Daily Express, Mail and other newspapers, along with BBCtv, the brew of such a tasty story was irresistible.
But why has the pint pot, beloved of churlish, flat-capped bores sitting alone in gloomy rural bars, won favour with young women in skinny jeans and men with Ned Kelly beards?
To Rose Dennen, pictured, manager of the Shacklewell Arms, the replacement of the straight glass by the pot symbolises “the novelty of tradition” for hipsters.
She explains: “They are in love with the idea of an era that they see as nicer.”
Of course, “the Shack”, renowned for the might-become-famous bands it presents in a space at the rear of the building, serves a variety of craft beers, including some ale brewed specially by a South London microbrewery.
The last British factory to make pint mugs on a large scale, Ravenhead Glass in Liverpool, ceased to do so in 2001. These days the mugs are imported.
Neil Walker, of the Campaign for Real Ale, comments: “That pint pots have been adopted by pubs and bars who aim at a younger customer can only be good for getting more people to drink real ale.”
The love for the past is not all positive. Dennen says: “I can see Poll Tax-type riots breaking out among a generation fed up with poor job prospects and a lack of affordable accommodation that forces them to move back into their parents’ homes.
“These people don’t believe in government any more.”
David Altheer 010514
* The Shacklewell Arms, 71 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston E8 2EB, will offer an extra selection of craft beers from Fri 16 May 2014 to Sun 18 May 2014.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.