Half a pint of bitter

This week's mindbender has been adapted from a puzzle I found in the excellent "Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Puzzles" by David Wells. In the original puzzle beer was only 20p a pint!

The puzzle

A stranger walks into the new Boston United Sports Bar and puts a pound coin on the counter and asks for half a pint of bitter. The barmaid asks him whether he would like Batemans or Worthington. The stranger asks for Batemans. Another complete stranger comes into the bar, puts a pound on the counter and also asks for half a pint of bitter. The barmaid immediately pulls half a pint of Batemans. How did she know what the second man, who was completely unknown to her, wanted?

The solution

Half a pint of Batemans costs exactly one pound, while Worthington costs 90p. The first stranger put down a £1 coin on the counter. The second man put down a 50p piece and five 10p coins. If he had wanted Worthington he would only have put down 90p.

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