I dropped into an unnamed pub (literally – the sign appears to have been taken down for refurbishment) the other day. It was a sunny day and the interior was pleasantly cool and quiet.
There were two beers on, one from Strathaven Ales and a Caledonian seasonal, Surf's Up. Like most of Caledonian's seasonals, it tastes pretty much the same as one of their other beers. Most of them are tweaked 80, but this one was slightly tweaked Deuchars.
The beer fobbed quite a bit coming out of the pump, causing the barmaid to complain about the condition of the beer.
"Better than having it too flat," quoth I.
"Oh, then you can always put the sparkler on and it gives it a nice head," says barmaid.
So there you go, in the minds of some pub staff, the sparkler is there to disguise flat beer.