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04-05-2015, 07:33
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If you had been a reader of 'A Swift One' for some time, I apologize for revisiting a subject that I have visited previously, but I feel this is an appropriate time to remind you readers of it. I do not like brewers buggering about with the ingredients in their beers. In particular, I dislike synthetic fruit in beer.

Let me set the scenario. Yesterday I was called to Chesterfield on family business, or Mrs Timbo wanted to visit relatives. I usually manage to spend a little time in the town sampling their beers, of which some of the local breweries are excellent. But there is always an exception. And that was yesterday.

The first pub I visited had a pedestrian selection of beers, of which all but one I had previously sampled. The rogue beer was from Wentworth - not one of my favourite breweries - called ' Raspberry Ripple'. The warning was in the name, and was reinforced by the barman who seemingly thought I was a fairly sensible bloke. 'Are you sure?' he queried, 'Its a bit raspberry.'' Never mind' Said I, 'I am sure I have drunk worse.'

Well to be fair I have, but not often. Light coloured but with the overwhelming smell of raspberry, I knew immediately I had made a cock up. I was right. It tasted like it smelt, but the taste was not of fresh raspberry, which I quite appreciate in Belgian beer, but rather a plastic flavour, which overwhelmed the beer. Thankfully I had only ordered a half, which I duly drank, but for the next few hours regretted as I struggled to get rid of the cloying taste.

I tried another couple of pubs, and another couple of beers, of different styles and strengths to clear my pallette but without success. But desperation led me to make another grave misjudgement. I saw a beer on a bar called 'Apricot Dream' from the Grafton brewery. It was just like the previous mistake. This time a little better, without an overriding smell, but the taste was again, synthetic. To be fair to it, it did allay the raspberry taste for a while, but I was getting an aftertaste like a fruit salad by now, and not even counting towards my five a day !

By this time good sense prevailed and I gave up !

All I ask is that if any stray brewer is reading this can they think twice before using anything other than proper fruit in their beer and save us poor drinkers the experience I suffered yesterday. It will do you no favours.

And the worst beer - years ago a mint beer from a Devon brewery called 'Suttons'. Like drinking toothpaste !

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