Thursday, 15 December 2011

A visit to our testing centre

I agreed to visit an ex-colleague of mine at Trent Polytechnic.  Travelled to Nottingham by train as it was likely to be day flowing with conversation and alcohol.  In those days trains were somewhat sparser than today, so a choice had to be made between a train arriving in Nottingham at 10.30AM and one which would make me late for my meeting.

The pubs in Nottingham opened at 10.30AM and with time to kill I wandered into a pub for my favourite tipple in those days: bottled Guinness.  Time for one drink and then towards the city centre.  Near the central police station I was approached by two ladies each carrying a clipboard.  'Market research' thought I and my initial reaction was to steer away from them avoiding eye contact.  But then I had time to spare, so why not.

Following a few general questions I was asked to name my favourite alcoholic drink.  'Bottled Guinness ' said I.  'Would I like to accompany them (the ladies) to our testing centre?'  Would I!? The market research had been commissioned by Guinness.

On arrival I was invited to drink samples of 'normal' bottled Guinness and a new lighter bottled Guinness.  I must say they were both delicious and by the end of the sampling session I had polished off a pint of each.

By the time I met my colleague I was somewhat late and he doubted my explanation.  Well, only one way to prove it.  We found the ladies who steadfastly refused the offer by my colleague to participate in the market research.

I could never distinguish bottled Guinness from Dublin from that from Park Royal. A friend of mine had no such problem. Mix up bottles from each in a crate and she had a 100% success rate at distinguishing them. Mind you, she was hopeless at identifying different bitter beers.

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