As I write this, North Yorkshire pubs are in the news. The Goathland Hotel has come up for sale after the current licensee has decided to retire.

The hotel doubled as the fictional Aidensfield Arms in the TV series Heartbeat (which of course was based on my dad’s Constable series of books). The sale sparked national interest, and made it to the dizzy heights of BBC news.

The second pub-themed story came courtesy of the Ryedale Folk Museum, based in Hutton-le-Hole. This lovely little museum, which celebrates traditional rural crafts and skills of the North York Moors, has launched a new exhibition called "Pub!" which features historic photos from the archives of some well-loved hostelries from the area, including The Star Inn at Harome, the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge and of course Hutton-le-Hole’s own pub The Crown. The exhibition runs until September 4.

It made me think back to the pub I used to frequent as a young adult, namely the Malt Shovel in Oswaldkirk. It was one of the most popular in the area with the younger generation, and I have many fond memories of nights spent there with friends who I still know to this day. I’m not going to elaborate on what those "fond memories" are because most of them involve embarrassing alcohol-fuelled misdemeanours. I was very fortunate to get a job serving behind the bar too, and I absolutely loved it. To this day, it remains one of my favourite ever jobs.

I got to know my locals well, to know who drank what and when, and as soon as I saw them coming in, I’d start to pour their drink so that it was ready for them as they reached the bar. This was in the days when most men of a certain age drank bitter and had no hesitation in telling me if the pint I’d just pulled wasn’t good enough. Lager as an acceptable drink for the red blooded male was just beginning to peep from the shadow of bitter, and continental bottled beers were becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst the young. The brewery, Samuel Smith’s, had recently launched its own "Natural Lager" in bright green bottles, and in our pub, it really took off. No one who drank Natural Lager used a glass, because glasses were for outcasts, losers and old people. The Supercool drank straight from the bottle.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The ‘tulip’, left, and the ‘Nonic’, right, glasses that superseded the dimpled pint jug

I was having a drink recently with one of those friends from my pub days who posed the following question: What happened to dimpled pint pots with handles? When I worked at the Malt, most pints came in straight-sided glasses that had a bulge near the top, and this design had overtaken the dimpled pint pot, coinciding with the demise of bitter and the increase in popularity of lager. The design was patented by American Hugo Pick in 1913 and improved upon the completely straight and smooth glass that had a tendency to crack and develop sharp nicks in the rim when being washed and stacked, which rendered them unusable. Known as the "Nonic" (or No-nick) Pick added a slight bulge around the glass about an inch below the rim, which increased its strength and made it easier to hold when washing up. The other common design of the day was the "tulip", which has a narrower bottom half for a more comfortable feel when held in the hand.

We consider the dimpled pint pot a stalwart of the traditional English pub, but in fact it wasn’t around for that long. It became popular in the 1920s and 30s, after glass tankards superseded pewter (1500s onwards) and ceramic (late 1800s onwards). The dimpled glass pot was developed by Ravenhead Glass, with a handle to keep the beer cool and dimples to make it easier to hold when washing up. However, these thick glass pots fell out of favour once lager became popular, imbibers preferring thinner, smoother glasses. Ravenhead closed in 2001, and the pot disappeared with them.

In recent years, though, it has had a bit of a revival with the advent of the Hipster movement in the 2010s. Suddenly, the dimpled pint pot was back in fashion, with the bearded trendsetters wanting to drink their fashionable craft beers out of this uniquely British vessel.

I wonder how they’d feel if they knew that their olde worlde beer jug was likely imported from Turkey?

Read more at Follow me on Twitter @countrymansdaug