After he’d driven a 7.5 ton box van from Somerset to Cornwall, via London, while helping us move in, we felt Bailey’s Dad deserved a pint or two and took him to one of our local pubs.
He sank a pint of proper job fairly quickly but didn’t seem 100 per cent convinced. We had a hunch that St Austell’s very popular HSD might be more to his taste, and it seems we were right.
We’ve always been a bit disparaging of HSD — it’s what we’d call St Austell’s brown, boring bitter and, even by the standards of that type of beer, it lacks hop character. A surprising number of people are very loyal to it, however, and a pub landlord here told us us there would be a riot if he were to replace it with the similarly brown but much more flavoursome Admiral’s Ale. “They find it too light,” he said, referring to something other than the colour.
For many drinkers in the west country (and, from observation, south Wales, too) hops are not where it’s at.
Maybe we need to let our lupulin-ravaged tastebuds recover and learn to appreciate these types of beers for what they are.