A while ago, some friends visited, bringing with them some bottle-conditioned beers they’d picked up on holiday in Norfolk. A couple of weeks ago, we finally got round to drinking them. Well, we say drinking… pouring them down the sink is unfortunately closer to the mark for three of the four.
These were exploitative, gift-shop, tourist-trap beers. The brewers are either overreaching and delusional or, worse, cynics who know the beer they’re making is bad but sell it anyway.
One was just about drinkable – an unassertive yeast and some pithy hops made it bland but faintly aromatic – but more by luck than intent, we suspect. Another was an accidental, gushing lambic; yet another smelled like pickled lemons rotting in a drainage ditch and tasted like unfermented wort; the fourth had the aroma of blue cheese and tasted like alcohol-free wheat beer – chewy, grainy water.
So, one bland beer and three that were absolutely foul.
We’re annoyed that our friends got ripped off and we’re also annoyed that small, local breweries doing it properly are going to suffer by association with this kind of rubbish.