Generalisations about beer culture

100 Words: Using Powers for Good

By Bailey

Last weekend, I visited a few pubs with a mate. Normally laid back, there is, it transpires, one thing that raises his blood pressure:

‘I can’t stand American hops — why does everything have to taste of bloody grapefruit!?’

So, in the next place, when I ordered Dark Star Hophead and he said, ‘Same,’ I held up a hand with a heroic flourish.

‘No! You probably want this one.’ That being a best bitter with English hops.

It seemed counter-intuitive — Hophead is a classic! — but he loved his caramel-sweet malt bomb, and I felt, smugly, that I’d done the noble thing.

6 replies on “100 Words: Using Powers for Good”

“Caramel sweet malt bomb”??? Name* and shame**!

*the beer
**yourself for having such a grapefruitised palate you can’t even taste English hops any more

Wasn’t taking notes, only had a sip; barely any hop character at all. Small brewer I’d never heard of before, at any rate. Not unlike Spingo Middle which, as you know, Boak and I both like rather a lot.

Mmm, Spingo Middle. Now that is a malt-bomb. (“Caramel-sweet”? Well, maybe. I can’t hear ‘caramel’ as anything but negative – reminds me of dull Scottish bitters, or rather heavies.)

I had a kind of double epiphany one night, in a pub with a very narrow range of national brands. I ordered Adnams’ bitter & was very pleasantly surprised – no hop action to speak of but lots going on, a really enjoyable pint. “What a snob I’ve been – these brown bitters from big family brewers aren’t bad!” I thought, and ordered a pint of Spitfire – which was swill. And the moral of that story is, never dismiss a beer as rubbish – unless of course it is rubbish.

Ah, see, we like caramel. Just not in everything, all the time.

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