This weekend, we found ourselves at the Southampton Arms in North London with one of the friends who introduced us to it not long after it opened.
Although it’s more-or-less his local, he actually isn’t remotely interested in beer. In lieu of Becks or Staropramen, he drinks Camden Helles, but under protest.
Nonetheless, he also dutifully tried every hoppy ale that we brought back to the table, screwing up his face in disgust at each one.
His verdict, at the end of the night, was damning. Where we’d detected elderflower, citrus, grape, and so on, he picked up only one thing.
“All these beers… all these weird beers you drink… they just smell of cheap hairspray!”
In a funny way, we know exactly what he means.