The beer sparkler ….. possibly one of the world’s greatest inventions for beer? Guaranteed to give a ‘good head’ on a pint of beer which it is generally loved by us Northerners and despised by Southerners. Incredibly the beer sparkler was first patented over 130 years ago – by George Barker in 1886. His patent claimed – ‘Barker’s patent aerator of beer, stout, porter and other liquors is a new invention for improving the flavour and appearance especially of beer. Flat beer drawn through it becomes quite palatable, the apparatus so being arranged that the air of the place where the tap is placed thoroughly permeates the beer. The result is a rich creamy head, and a much lighter and more sparkling appearance than any, even the finest, beers possess when simply drawn through the ordinary tap without the aerator.’
Perhaps even more incredibly, at the time of the invention/patent, George Barker was the licensee of the Crown Hotel on Manchester Road in Higher Ince which would have been the first pub to use a beer sparkler. The pub sadly closed in the 1970’s but it’s legacy lives on. Another first for the Wigan pub scene!!