As the sidebar implies, I am very attached to my pint mug, albeit a heavy-bottomed one made of glass rather than the handsome antique specimen depicted.
These days it serves mostly as a water-glass, though back in my distant penurious past it doubled as a cereal-bowl on the mornings I couldn't be bothered to wash up, not to mention occasional money-box, flower-vase or wasp-catcher.
When the Urchin came of age, he too wanted a pint mug of his own; however, it proved surprisingly difficult to find one. Pubs had, almost universally, replaced their handled glass tankards with straight glasses and shops had followed suit.
I'm hoping Bucko - having relevant experience - can enlighten me as to the reason for this*; I always thought that it was because the weight and the handle made a pint mug a potentially lethal weapon, but, according to the Telegraph, the reason is far more prosaic:
In the late 1970s and early 1980s drinkers rebelled against tankards. ‘In a straight glass, not a jug’ was a common request. The move saw most pubs ditch them and stock 'straight' glasses only.Real ale - the sort for which you are supposed to wear a woolly sweater and, preferably, a beard - still came in handled mugs, but for everything else you got a straight glass (unless you were female and in the North, when you would automatically be issued with a half in a 'ladies' glass' complete with stem).
It is thus highly amusing that, as reported in the Telegraph, style-conscious city-dwellers are now insisting on traditional-style glass pint mugs for their beer. In the words of a Wimbledon pub manager:
“More and more people are specifically requesting their beer in a pint jug with a handle, particularly when they see other drinkers with one. There is definitely an element of nostalgia about a proper pint jug.'Retro-cool', eh? Just goes to show; hang around long enough and, like it or not, you'll be at the cutting edge of fashion.
They are seen as retro-cool yet comforting and traditional, reflecting the return to more traditional pub values.”
*Update: According to Bucko (via comments):
"the glass was phased out because of its adaptability as a nasty weapon. If you hold the handle with your fingers all the way through the hole, so your knuckle is touching the glass, turn it 45 degrees onto it's side, then bang it hard on the edge of a table, the glass shatters leaving you with what is called a 'glass fist'. A bit like a knuckleduster with jagged glass edges. You can imagine the damage such a weapon would do."
It's rather sad when your low opinion of your fellow-man turns out to be entirely justified - though my respect for those who successfully ply the publican's trade has increased in proportion.