Bass is better regarded as an icon of graphic design than as a beer.
It’s usually found in pubs that seem stuck in a timewarp and, in our experience at least, is rarely drinkable, from either keg or cask. We’ve found it sour and stale everywhere from grotty pubs with sticky carpets to gaudily wallpapered ‘style bars’ in south London.
A couple of weeks ago, however, we had a pint that was in tip-top condition and were reminded that at its best, Bass is a complex beer which carries some intentional ‘off flavours’ with aplomb. The sulphurous aroma, the hint of cider-apple and a final chalkiness, are not repellent but absolutely harmonious. It is reminiscent of, and better than, recent bottles of Worthington White Shield.
Until it tastes this way more often, however, while we won’t give up on it, it’ll have to remain on our list of beers of last resort.
Simon ‘Reluctant Scooper’ Johnson seems to know where to find Bass in reliably good nick; and those who like to try to find the breaking point of the term craft beer will find Bass a useful bit of ammo.