British people are often culturally programmed to choose a certain type of tipple, even before they touch a drop.
Consider the socially-conditioned bitter drinker, a type we know personally and well. These are blokes who don’t really have strong feelings about beer but know what they’re not: lager louts, party animals, pretentious, ‘continental’, fizzy. A pint of bitter (John Smith’s Extra Smooth, London Pride, whatever’s at hand) just fits their identity, and that’s that.
Perhaps it’s that a pint of bitter, though some might call it boring, seems to them vaguely counter-cultural — representative of a kind of quiet contrariness, like indie music and rambling. It signals their place in a minority, where they feel at home, without being at all ostentatious.
None of the blokes we’ve got in mind are CAMRA members. Bitter is bitter is bitter. For them, it’s not something to campaign for or think too much about.
What would ever make the confirmed bitter drinker order something different at the bar? It’s hard to imagine. Our suspicion is that the more you market at him, the more stubborn he’ll get: “Pint of bitter, please.”