At some point in the last twenty years, the concept of the ‘premium sausage’ emerged: a banger with fewer additives, better quality meat and stronger flavours.
The problem with premium sausages? They’re sometimes too meaty — they lack a cohesive texture — and just don’t taste like sausages.
Yes, some really cheap sausages are downright nasty, made entirely of salty breadcrumbs dyed pink, but, really, the point of sausages is to make good use of offal and fat. They’re supposed to be full of crappy but delicious meat, fat, flavourings and, yes, breadcrumbs.
How does this relate to beer? After much experimenting, we have to conclude that we can’t taste the difference between whole leaf hops, pellets, extracts and oils, at least not in normal pub-going conditions; refusing to use sugar in beer on purity grounds seems to be missing a trick; and one of our favourite bottled lagers, Svyturys Ekstra Draft, uses rice in its grist, and we’re sure there are others.
Maybe more beers made lovingly but with cheaper ingredients would help to bring the price down? As long as brewers were transparent about it, we wouldn’t mind at all.