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The Zen Garden of Brown Bitter

Zen garden

When Zythophile posted his thoughts on the wonder of brown beer yesterday, it prompted several people to observe (paraphrased) that bitter is underrated and that beer geeks are too obsessed with big beer to give it its due.

Is the fact that this is on people’s minds more evidence of the Quiet Beer Counter-Revolution Alan McLeod observed last year?

Relatively simple beers — those that aren’t limited edition, barrel-aged, spiced, super strong or exotically hopped — should not be seen as boring, but conducive to meditation.

As Alan suggests here, brewers who can coax notes of apple and pear out of pale malt are doing something very clever, very quietly.

(Brown bitter is British beer’s Zen garden? That must be one of
the most pretentious things we’ve ever written, and God knows there’s
some competition.)

10 replies on “The Zen Garden of Brown Bitter”

Making something interesting out of a moderate ABV and IBU beer made with a couple of malts and subtle hops is a lot more difficult and deserves a lot more praise….

Hats off to the bores who refuse to follow the latest fad!

In a pilsner these would be off flavours…
British ales are fermented warm to encourage fruity flavours.

They’re very pleasant in, say, Harvey’s Sussex Bitter, or a certain type of Burton-style pale ale.

They are certainly from fermentation (back to ignoring yeast arwe we!!!!? from pale malt?) but arnt necasarily off flavours. Sure if its acetaldehyde its a fault but there are plenty of apple and pear notes that arnt acetaldehyde.

Reading Martin’s article almost moved me to post, but I spotted yours whilst at work – alas can’t log in or post at work….

I love(d) Georges Bitter Ale, and now enjoy Otter Bitter, and am always happy to find a well kept Hook Norton or Brakspear’s Best.

Quiet revolution I think is perhaps an exaggeration; regaining perspective and honest appreciation seem more prevalent in gently reminding us blog-folk that a beer can be good irrespective of its percentage of coverage.

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