Generalisations about beer culture real ale

High Speed Death

We’re always delighted to find out that a beer has a nickname. Recently, we were told by a barman that St Austell’s HSD (Hicks Special Draft) is commonly known as “high speed death”.

That reminded us of the story that Brains’ S.A. (4.2%) is sometimes referred to as “skull attack”.

We think these nicknames reveal a previous generation’s attitude towards beer. Bailey’s dad describes any beer stronger than 4.5% abv as “bloody strong” and HSD is 5%. Most beer geeks or, in fact, anyone who’s grown up with 5%+ lagers in the pub, would probably think it a pleasant-enough (or, possibly, boring) brown, mainstream bitter.

Do you know anymore nicknames like these? And can you think of any beers that used to be known for their strength but are now considered nothing special? (Like the end of an episode of Kilroy, that bit.)