beer reviews pubs

A surprisingly deep beer

Banks's Bitter

On Tuesday last week, when I should have been at the Great British Beer Festival, I found myself obliged to take a business trip to the north east of England. The Chequers at Dalton-on-Tees,  a proper village pub where I stayed, was some compensation.

The extrovert landlord keeps a small, relatively conservative selection of real ales in the absolute peak of condition. Among them was Banks’s Bitter.

It’s one of those beers you see all over the place and which we’ve always overlooked in favour of stronger, sexier or harder-to-find alternatives. On this occasion, the ticker in me led me to choose it purely because it was the only thing on the pumps I’d never tried before.

And, what do you know? It turns out it’s an excellent, characterful everyday pint. It’s got just the right balance of sulphurous aroma, acidity and malty sweetness to occupy the tastebuds and, at a moderate 3.8%, several pints didn’t leave me crying into my fried breakfast on Wednesday morning.


3 replies on “A surprisingly deep beer”

I remember drinking Bank’s bitter and original at lunch for 99p back in when I was at college.

It was great stuff, the original was the best but bitter is good too.

Had a similar experience in Leamington Spa earlier in the year. With 40 minutes to kill before a train I found the nearest open pub, which served Banks’s Bitter and nothing else (aprt from keg stuff etc).

I’d not drunk it for many, many years and I was amazed at how good it was. I must admit I did have more than one.

You’re right, there are some gems out there that probably get overlooked – does familiarity eventually lead us to devalue something?

Dalton-on-Tees, The Chequers! this is only a few miles from the home of “The Darlington Traditional Brewing Group” (as seen on TV) (we like to keep saying) of whome “Random John” is a member, in fact another member lives barely 20 feet from the Chequers pub, next time drop us a line and we will show you a shed or two.

Comments are closed.