Part of a Balanced Diet

'Vanilla is a Bean' by Christian Newton, from Flickr, under Creative Commons.
‘Vanil­la is a Bean’ by Chris­t­ian New­ton, from Flickr, under Cre­ative Com­mons.

Is modern ‘craft beer’ really a mess of silly, fruit-flavoured, over-hopped, novelty beers bought at inflated prices by mugs?

That (as we read his Tweets) is how ven­er­a­ble beer blog­ger Alan ‘A Good Beer Blog’ McLeod sees it, and he’s cer­tain­ly not alone. It’s cer­tain­ly true that when those out­side ‘the bub­ble’ seek to satirise beer geeks, these are exact­ly the kinds of beers they pick on:

Undrink­able Apri­cot Mon­stros­i­ty: Got­ta love those lazy sum­mer after­noons. Just head out to the porch, kick your feet up, and slog your way through an Undrink­able Apri­cot Mon­stros­i­ty, cour­tesy of Lagu­ni­tas Brew­ing Co.

In what sounds like a plea for clas­si­cal, con­ser­v­a­tive ‘good taste’, McLeod and oth­ers seem to be sug­gest­ing that the best beers are expres­sions of grain-hops-yeast-water, in bal­ance with each oth­er, with an alco­hol con­tent some­where around the nat­ur­al set­tling point of 5% ABV.

Now, we love beers like that (and occa­sion­al­ly get told off for it by extremophiles…) but we don’t believe they’re threat­ened, or even, for that mat­ter, starved of atten­tion.

In the UK at least, we see a lot of peo­ple enjoy­ing big­ger, stranger beers, while also rav­ing about straight­for­ward, decent lagers and bit­ters. On the whole, the same ‘crafterati’ that queues up to buy a lim­it­ed edi­tion IPA also seems to be quite vocal about enjoy­ing cask ale from Fuller’s, or straight­for­ward Munich-style Helles by Cam­den, in their local booz­er.

Writ­ing a post about why brown bit­ter and/or stan­dard lagers are actu­al­ly awe­some is prac­ti­cal­ly a beer blog­ging rite of pas­sage.

Beer with fruit in, or with lots of hops, isn’t inher­ent­ly ‘sil­ly’ – what mat­ters is how suc­cess­ful­ly or thought­ful­ly it is done. Badger’s peach-flavoured Gold­en Glo­ry might be a bit vul­gar; Brew By Num­bers cucum­ber and juniper sai­son (sor­ry to go on) isn’t. Peo­ple are excit­ed by it because it works – not because of hype.

A healthy mar­ket, we think, offers:

  1. a broad choice of good qual­i­ty ‘nor­mal’ beers
  2. some cheap-but-drink­able beers for those on a bud­get; and
  3. on the fringes, some weird stuff for spe­cial occa­sions and nov­el­ty-seek­ers.

(Which sort of feels like where we’re get­ting to now, doesn’t it…?)

Those three cat­e­gories aren’t mutu­al­ly exclu­sive, and try­ing to argue any of them out of exis­tence seems, we think, rather like try­ing to stop oth­er peo­ple enjoy­ing them­selves.

45 thoughts on “Part of a Balanced Diet”

  1. In the USA of course, large parts of the ‘craft’ mar­ket is still based upon ill-advised, bizarre, atten­tion seek­ing con­coc­tions that, in some cas­es, have very lit­tle rela­tion to what you and I might call ‘beer’. The abuse of cask ale with infu­sions here is absolute­ly heart-break­ing, dis­gust­ing and trag­ic, and is mis­lead­ing a whole gen­er­a­tion of drinkers about a genre of beer. Such abuse is abhor­rent to me.

  2. IIRC, Bad­ger Gold­en Glo­ry used to be flavoured with Elder­flower, and was a lot sub­tler than the syrupy peach ver­sion we have now. It even used to fea­ture elder­flow­ers on the bot­tle, IIRC. Either way, you could nev­er accuse Bad­ger of being trendy or “Craft”

    1. I think that was a dif­fer­ent beer, launched at about the same time.

      I sup­pose we picked that exam­ple to high­light that old fam­i­ly brew­ers aren’t *nec­es­sar­i­ly* guardians of good taste and tra­di­tion as they’re some­times por­trayed.

      1. Agreed. A mate of mine used to work in Hall and Woodhouse’s qual­i­ty con­trol labs. To say he was unim­pressed by some of what he saw go on would be an under­state­ment.

        And yes, it was a dif­fer­ent beer – Gold­en Cham­pi­on – I was think­ing of!

  3. I don’t real­ly like fruit flavoured beer, its too sweet for my palate, and seems too far removed from my con­cep­tion of what beer ought to taste like. For­tu­nate­ly, its not some­thing you see a lot of in the UK.

  4. a broad choice of good qual­i­ty ‘nor­mal’ beers
    some cheap-but-drink­able beers for those on a bud­get; and
    on the fringes, some weird stuff for spe­cial occa­sions and nov­el­ty-seek­ers.

    In oth­er news, we’re get­ting reports that while this is nice, that’s quite nice too. It’s also being sug­gest­ed that nice­ness might be opti­mised by the inclu­sion of both this and that. So, some­thing for us all to think about there…

  5. It’ll be inter­est­ing to see whether there’s a ceil­ing in the craft beer mar­ket at which point brew­ers will be forced to either cease vol­ume growth or brew less inter­est­ing beer in order to fuel growth…the ‘small is bet­ter’ could well take a bat­ter­ing.

  6. I always find it a bit rum that some peo­ple get upset at the way oth­ers like to spend their leisure time (although I con­cede I haven’t always been this relaxed about any­thing).

      1. Hope­ful­ly you don’t hear much of that from us these days – you (and Ron, Max, Al, among oth­ers) con­vinced us it was daft.

        It does occa­sion­al­ly still seem to crop up in con­ver­sa­tions in the US-beer-blo­goshire, but, even there, it’s often bal­anced by an equal weight of cyn­i­cism.

  7. What a treat to read on my way out the door for a colonoscopy. If I was to sum­ma­rize my thoughts at the less­er dis­tress­er I am expe­ri­enc­ing at the mo, it’s not so much the direct equa­tion “this bad, that was bet­ter” so much as how God awful so much of “this” is – and no one since Simon died cer­tain­ly – hav­ing the eyes to see it. Not to men­tion that some of which is or is not awful is so facile – squirt in some cher­ry sauce to a B grade sai­son and, wham­mo, you are an artist.

    More lat­er unless this is all a front for an alien inva­sion and there is a mem­o­ry erase that comes after the probe.


  8. Am I alone in not hav­ing a clue what that Alan ‘A Good Beer Blog’ McLeod link was about? And per­haps those who do have clue could tell whether it’s as pre­ten­tious as I think it is.

    1. It’s a link to the home­page of his entire blog. Do you mean the sand­wich tongs post at the top?

        1. We got it, but then we’ve been fol­low­ing his train of thought. And if a feller can’t be self-indul­gent on his own blog.…

          1. He can do what he likes on his own blog – even be incom­pre­hen­si­ble if he wants – but to me it seems to go against the basic pur­pose of a blog, which is com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

  9. Scene vet­er­ans are sad that peo­ple are excit­ed about try­ing new beer 🙁 🙁 🙁

    1. Not sad Andy, but con­cerned that oppor­tu­ni­ties to spread a gen­uine, endur­ing beer cul­ture are being lost in the race to flavour beers with almost every­thing under the sun. Per­son­al­ly, I think beer is just fine as it has been hand­ed down to us for the great major­i­ty of it, i.e., malt, hops, yeast, water, maybe anoth­er grain or some sug­ar if not abused. Cof­fee nev­er did any­thing for a porter or stout, IMO, or choco­late: it doesn’t belong there and no such flavoured beer will ever, IMO, become a major star. Dit­to for most of the oth­er flavoured thin­gies out there. Do l like kriek? Of course, there is always an excep­tion and the Bel­gians have done good work with fruit when used in a tra­di­tion­al way. There is always an excep­tion, but then it proves the rule don’t it?


      1. I don’t like Kriek. It tastes noth­ing like beer. Just because its “tra­di­tion­al” doesn’t make it any bet­ter.

      2. I was with you till you dis­missed cof­fee stouts 🙂 but guess that proves the point every­ones tastes are dif­fer­ent, and cof­fee stouts are real­ly hard to get right you have to bal­ance the amount of cof­fee so it does­nt over­load the beer taste and just com­pli­ments the bit­ter­ness.

        and elder­flower, whats wrong with elder­flower beers !?! look I dont real­ly mind what flavour of sodas­tream is fla­va of the month, I do mind peo­ple telling me that its auto­mat­i­cal­ly supe­ri­or, going to take over the beery world because its shiny,new and innovative,and just because a stan­dard brown beer does­nt tick those box­es.

        I dont maybe as Py says its because I grew up pre-90s where when you went to the pub, your choice was lager or bit­ter and I still go in a bar with 45 taps avail­able, and order the near­est thing to bit­ter.

        1. I agree with you about sub­tle­ty, and one of the issues I have with addi­tives is they usu­al­ly over­whelm the taste. I’ve had elder­flower beer where the taste of the flavour­ing com­plete­ly dom­i­nates. I don’t say the per­fect beer of these types is impos­si­ble to brew and brew­ers should keep try­ing if they wish (plus to sat­is­fy appar­ent demand for nov­el­ty), but my view is they should focus on mak­ing great trad styles before ven­tur­ing into less famil­iar ter­ri­to­ry.


          1. To be hon­est, I’m one of these dread­ful craftophiles (when I’m not oth­er­wise engaged with a well kept pint of Adnams), and I’m fair­ly leery of “unusu­al” added flavour­ings.

            In gen­er­al I’ll try it if it’s a well estab­lished style (fruit lam­bics being an obvi­ous one, and arguably cof­fee porters are get­ting there) or if I gen­er­al­ly trust the brew­ery, but am unlike­ly to take a punt on some­thing oth­er­wise. I sus­pect that the nov­el­ty val­ue makes it eas­i­er to shift stuff even if it isn’t very good, and hence reduces the need for either brew­ers or the peo­ple stock­ing bars and off-licens­es to apply qual­i­ty con­trol.

            On the oth­er hand, fruit and oth­er, weird­er, flavour­ings cur­rent­ly doesn’t seem like that big a thing in what I see of the UK craft scene. Maybe in saisons, but those are already a niche with­in a niche. Stick­ing the odd bit of choco­late, cof­fee and vanil­la in porters is maybe more com­mon. But I’m not sure I could find an “undrink­able apri­cot mon­stros­i­ty” from a UK craft brew­er even if I went out look­ing!

            Endurance hop-fests, on the oth­er hand… but again, those are enough of an estab­lished thing these days that stuff is actu­al­ly hav­ing to com­pete on qual­i­ty with­in the style rather than just suc­ceed­ing on the nov­el­ty of the style itself.

      3. This ==> “Not sad Andy, but con­cerned that oppor­tu­ni­ties to spread a gen­uine, endur­ing beer cul­ture are being lost in the race to flavour beers with almost every­thing under the sun”

        So many oppor­tu­ni­ties are being missed in the USA to cul­ti­vate a last­ing cul­ture, it’s not fun­ny.

  10. I think that where you dis­cuss what con­sti­tutes a healthy mar­ket you also need to include:

    4. Inno­va­tion

    Some of the by prod­ucts of inno­va­tion are things that don’t always work, or appeal only to exper­i­men­tal tastes. And I am talk­ing gen­uine inno­va­tion by expe­ri­enced brew­ers who know what they are doing, not mix-it-and-see exper­i­men­ta­tion.

    Also note the straw man argu­ments always go for easy tar­gets, like the afore­men­tioned fruit excess­es. The Neo-con­ser­v­a­tive beer drinkers are not hav­ing a go at say, Unhu­man Can­non­ball or Ker­nel Export Stout/India Porter.

    What the beer lud­dites don’t seem to get is that his­tor­i­cal­ly peo­ple drank a broad spec­trum of beers and at dif­fer­ent strengths. From sus­te­nance style table porters, to bret­ty-aged ales, and sweet/strong desert beers. Thats just the eng­lish brews. What about the whole gamut of Belgian/French/German/Czech beers ?

    Get­ting beer back to stan­dard bitter/lager is pin­ing for sim­pler times that nev­er exist­ed. Our mod­ern re-rec­ol­lec­tion is shaped by con­tem­po­rary expe­ri­ence and glob­al brand­ing.

    As for stop­ping inno­va­tion, just because con­tem­po­rary options are good enough? There will always be peo­ple who think they can make a bet­ter prod­uct that what is out there.

    Some of them will suc­ceed.

  11. Get­ting beer back to stan­dard bitter/lager is pin­ing for sim­pler times that nev­er exist­ed.

    Reluc­tant as I am to engage with some­one who’s liable to call me a lud­dite (and not in a nice way), this is sil­ly. In the mid-19th cen­tu­ry, in Britain you could drink mild ale and old ale. In the 1920s you could drink bit­ter, mild, porter and old ale. In the 1960s you could drink lager and bit­ter, and mild if you were lucky. In the last 50 years most British brew­eries mak­ing cask beer have most­ly made bit­ter most of the time.

    You may or may not want to go back there, but any peri­od you care to name up to about 1990 qual­i­fies as “sim­pler times” than the present in terms of beer choice – and those of us who remem­ber the 1960s and 70s can attest that those were much sim­pler times.

    1. The Vic­to­ria in St Annes (Lancs) in the 1970s was the near­est pub to my par­ents’ house and I remem­ber that the busiest bar sold only bit­ter. On Fri­day night the crowd would be three or four deep and when you got to the front you just told the staff (and there were plen­ty of them in those days) how much you want­ed. There were either six or eight hand­pumps and every one had Boddington’s Bit­ter. The pub did have a pump for mild in the pub­lic bar, but it had a sep­a­rate entrance and it was ‘not done’ to buy beer there and smug­gle it into the posh­er parts of the pub (it was 1p cheap­er in the pub­lic for one thing). The third bar was in the lounge and did have a soli­tary lager tap, regard­ed most­ly as for pour­ing halves for the ladies. Boddington’s Bit­ter from the 70s, pre dumb­ing down, remains one of my all time favourites and I’d hap­pi­ly drink some­thing like that all night.

      If you want­ed choice in bit­ters you could go to the St Annes Hotel, where Whit­bread had Tro­phy, Tankard and Gaunt­let and all on the one bar!


  12. Still unpleas­ant­ly focused else­where near­by. Odd to have been think­ing of the Beer Nut mid-pro­ce­dure. One brief point – remem­ber in NAm there is no pro­tec­tor or provider of the tra­di­tion­al. Stouts are endan­gered. Every­thing is IPA. You in the UK have a “con­ser­v­a­tive” option much of the time.

    And Red­Nev, send me that cheque you seem to have mis­placed for ser­vices I owe you.

    1. there is no pro­tec­tor or provider of the tra­di­tion­al”

      The pro­tec­tor of the tra­di­tion­al in the UK, Ger­many and Bel­gium is the con­sumer. If the more tra­di­tion­al styles are under threat in North Amer­i­ca then IMO that’s a prob­lem with What Peo­ple Want To Drink more than What Brew­ers Are Turn­ing Out. The issue boils down to oth­er people’s taste not being to yours. Though I still find it dif­fi­cult to believe that we have a more diverse beer scene over here than you do over there.

      1. It has more to do with his­to­ry, BN. Remem­ber that EP Tay­lor was from here and led a move­ment that large­ly erad­i­cat­ed tra­di­tion­al beer styles. Heav­ier and well hopped IPAs were lead­ing beers until the 1950s. Micro hit back from 1985ish to 2005ish with well bod­ied tasty ales but the par­tic­u­lar nature of “craft” in NAm is not just that they have tak­en on exper­i­ment as a prime func­tion but doing so at scale. Big craft is indu­tri­al brew­ing at the same scale as the remain­ing region­al macro lager brew­ers. Unlike where you are, there is no con­sumer orga­ni­za­tion. As a result, this being a lop­sided oli­gop­o­lis­tic mar­ket, the con­sumer has a very weak voice. The biggest force in the mar­ket in rela­tion to the vari­ety of beers avail­able are small good brew­ers who are try­ing to set them­selves apart. This directs them and shelf stock­ers to run­ning after short term man­ic trends. For­tu­nate­ly, giv­en I didn’t start this post even though it’s tak­en from some­thing I might (or might not have) thought, i can assure you that stouts are hard to find, that a major Cana­di­an craft brew­er pulled their ESB in favour of a new copy­cat IPA because that’s the let­ters of the label peo­ple want­ed, tha saisons with a squirt of fruit juice or an shake of a spice are “inno­va­tion.” We also suf­fer from that sad thing, the strug­gling con­sul­tant, des­per­ate to make a liv­ing by writ­ing excit­ing columns and stand­ing around as they “col­lab­o­rate” on new and inno­v­a­tive freak show brews. So, as a mar­ket­place it isn’t a demand dri­ven one. There is a lit­tle too much “you poor drinker couldn’t pos­si­bly under­stand the craft brewer’s art”, so we take what we get even if it is some­times objec­tive­ly unpleas­ant or more often over- priced or far too often in a tiny stu­pid stemmed glass.

        1. I’m real­ly not see­ing how a mar­ket is not demand-dri­ven when a brew­er changes from mak­ing ESB to IPA because it’s what peo­ple want­ed.

          I’m not an objec­tor to squir­ty saisons or copy­cat IPAs – they all have a time and a place. But if I’m the weirdo here, and The Plain Peo­ple of North Amer­i­ca real­ly do want a decent pint of stout or bit­ter instead, sure­ly that would indi­cate that what’s hap­pen­ing now is just a blip? The tai­lor will stop sewing mag­ic trousers for the Emper­or when enough peo­ple point out that they can see His Majesty’s bum.

          But per­son­al­ly I don’t think that’s what’s actu­al­ly hap­pen­ing. I don’t think the con­sumers are sim­ply blind­ly lap­ping up what­ev­er dreck the brew­ers are turn­ing out and call­ing “craft”. I think most of them actu­al­ly enjoy it. I do, and I’m far from being a tow-haired wide-eyed rar­i­ty-chas­ing fan­boy.

          1. Why do you believe that the mar­ket is dri­ven by the buy­ing rather than the sell­ing? This is fun­da­men­tal to how pop cul­ture works. I am unable to ignore, adver­tis­ing, mass media, PR, fad­dism, an une­d­u­cat­ed con­sumer seg­ment, man­u­fac­tured scarci­ty, a trade that rejects crit­i­cal con­sumers. I don’t think you are the whacko but I sus­pect you live in a bet­ter served mar­ket­place.

            I am not going to go much far­ther with this but suf­fice it to say there is a long way from Adam Smith for fruit flavoured sai­son. And as for what the peo­ple want, dol­lars still March direct­ly to Bud despite what the evan­gel­i­cals and trade asso­ci­a­tion rests releas­es say.

  13. Lots of sen­si­ble com­ments from peo­ple here. For my part I like what Richard says. Do it your­self mixol­o­gists not only want to change the world – with­out even under­stand­ing the world they want to change – but they want the world to pay top dol­lar for their exper­i­ments, most of which don’t real­ly work. That’s tak­ing the piss and lots of respect­ed Lon­don Brew­ers do that, which of course leads us on to why peo­ple drink and pay for what I, with many years behind me and lots of beer judg­ing too, would call flawed and bad­ly brewed beers.

    Maybe it is that fash­ion, band­wag­on, or hip­ster thing, as I couldn’t pos­si­bly sug­gest that some drinkers don’t know their arse from their elbow now could I?

    In the end though, though when asked about this sort of thing, I tend to remark along the lines of “if we all liked the same thing there would only be one be beer”. (I may also add the odd pejo­ra­tive com­ment of course) . So in that sense, live and let live and there is room for all. You just won’t find me part­ing with my cash for a lot of it.

    1. Arrgh, would it kill you to name names once in a while?

      If you don’t want to ruf­fle any feath­ers then don’t say any­thing. Alter­na­tive­ly, if you want to say that the guys at the Ker­nel (for instance) are incom­pe­tent brew­ers and uneth­i­cal busi­ness­men then say that and then peo­ple can leap to their defence if they feel so inclined. All this snide insin­u­a­tion about “Respect­ed Lon­don Brew­ers” still nee­dles peo­ple but, by keep­ing your actu­al opin­ions at arms length and leav­ing you with plau­si­ble deni­a­bil­i­ty, denies them the pos­si­bil­i­ty of actu­al­ly reply­ing con­struc­tive­ly.

      1. Arrgh, would it kill you to name names once in a while?”

        Blimey – bit aggro, Dave.

        1. Sor­ry, was aim­ing for com­ic mock-frus­tra­tion rather than actu­al­ly aggres­sive…

          But I thought the post I was reply­ing to was a bit (pas­sive) aggro as well? It seems rea­son­able, in the con­text of Tandleman’s com­ments else­where about “Lon­don murky” and “rail­way arch­es” and so on, to inter­pret “respect­ed Lon­don brew­ers” as mean­ing the Ker­nel, Par­ti­zan, BBN et al. So since I quite like a lot of stuff from those brew­eries, Tandleman’s call­ing me and pre­sum­ably quite a few of your oth­er read­ers a bunch of band­wag­on-jump­ing fash­ion-led hip­sters who pays top dol­lar for bad beer because we don’t know our ars­es from our elbows.

          I don’t mind some­one say­ing that if it’s what they think, but it’d be more inter­est­ing if it was done explic­it­ly so we could actu­al­ly talk about what we do and do not like about spe­cif­ic beers or brew­eries rather than just feel­ing non-specif­i­cal­ly nee­dled…

          1. Just to be clear, there’s absolute­ly noth­ing wrong with chal­leng­ing, in the spir­it of robust debate – we just like to keep things sim­mer­ing rather than at full boil…

    2. Per­haps we need some kind of accred­i­ta­tion sys­tem where­by peo­ple are reg­u­lar­ly test­ed and must agree with offi­cial CAMRA pol­i­cy before being allowed to offer opin­ion on what beers they like?

      We can’t have peo­ple that don’t know their arse from the elbow going around say­ing that actu­al­ly enjoy what is obvi­ous to any dis­cern­ing judge to be a flawed and bad­ly brewed beer.

  14. Stan­dard bit­ter and lager doesn’t seem to be at much risk around Eng­land. Apart from tiny hand­full of spe­cial­ist bars id expect well over half the cask beers in any bar to be stan­dard pale ales in the 3.5 to 4.4 abv range. Ok far more gold­en pales than Brown com­pared to 20 years ago and some new hop vari­eties but noth­ing that strange. Sure the odd rasp­ber­ry blonde or cof­fee porter turns up but nev­er more than a sin­gle such nov­el­ty. The exper­i­men­tal beers are ones you have to search for. that said the 3.7 / 4.4 York­shire bitter/ best (tet­ley brown in colour) does seem to be slowly­be­ing pushed off the bar in favour of gold­en ales of the same or slight­ly low­er strength . Now this isn’t stan­dard bit­ter at risk its a sin­gle sub­set (and it would take cou­ple of decades of con­tin­ued trend for it to be any­where close to mild in the 80s) . Trends in online bot­tle sales will always be high­ly unrep­re­sen­ta­tive of wider mar­kets – why would any­one go online for beer almost iden­ti­cal to one they can get local­ly far cheap­er, it will always be a place where nov­el­ty / inno­va­tion dom­i­nates.

  15. Py. You con­flate things. I’ll put my case lat­er. Now got­ta see a man about an exten­sion. House seemed big enough to me, but appar­ent­ly I mis­un­der­stood that. The wife explained it to me.

    Might be an anal­o­gy there.

  16. Dave S. Good that you have con­fi­dence in your abil­i­ty to tell a good beer from bad. And what B&B say has lit­tle to do with what I say, except that I broad­ly agree with them in this case and set out my own thoughts with which some will agree and some won’t. As for dodgy exper­i­men­tal beers being sold? That nev­er hap­pens then? I see.

    You have one good point about me. Why on earth did I say respect­ed Lon­don Brew­ers? I meant to say “laud­ed”.

    I actu­al­ly said “some ” don’t know their arse from their elbow. That may not stop their enjoy­ment though, which is fine by me. I will rarely be buy­ing into that though, in either sense of the phrase.

  17. I’m not sure when peo­ple are talk­ing about fruit flavoured, they mean fruity hop flavours, or actu­al fruit (or fruit flavour­ings) added to the beer?

    Any­way, like oth­ers have said, despite all of the fuss about craft, the far big­ger change has been in avail­abil­i­ty of cask in ale in your typ­i­cal pub. And by far most of the time this will be a 4% bit­ter or gold­en ale.

  18. The thing that annoys me at the moment is the lack of dark beers in the super­mar­ket. In tescos the oth­er day, on a beer aisle with hun­dreds and hun­dreds of beers, the choice was guin­ness, mack­esons or wells choco­late stout. No porter, no mild, no dunkel, no dark lager, noth­ing. I know its sum­mer, but come on.

  19. Have you tried Aldi or Net­to for dark beers? They have fes­ti­vals now and then with them on offer.

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