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View Full Version : A place for Keg bitter?



Farway
17-10-2009, 14:34
And before the smart bottoms say, no not there :D

I have seen mention here about John Smith's Smooth, normally not in a positive way, I am one of the culprits I admit

However it set me thinking, back hundreds of years to my yoof and the memory of just how lovely Worthington E and Red Barrel, Drum Mild etc was at the time

Back then, when pubs were doing you a favour if they even had crisps for sale, and a stale cheese roll was considered haute cuisine by most publicans, beer from many a pub was slopped up with grubby bits floating in vinegary liquid, sometimes to rub it in you got a glass with lipstick on it as well :eek:

Now obviously this was all down to the publican not looking after the beer in the real wooden barrels, some were good but an good many were not, thus when Keg came along it was nectar in relation to the previous offerings

Since then CAMRA was born and real ale has made a comeback, but now those who serve it [or most] know they have to look after it, and many take pride in doing so. The rest stick to keg thus saving us the bother of winnowing out the chaff when making our pub selection

Eddie86
17-10-2009, 16:29
I personally think keg has a place - some pubs just can't sell real ale, be it their target customer base, their location of cellar, their skill, and so keg makes a viable offer. If only it wasn't superchilled! That's my only problem with it - I've had keg Bass and Pedigree before now, and once they've defrosted, they're not the worst thing in the world. But then I'm the same with Guinness - why would you want to freeze the flavour out of a drink? If it ain't broke...

Oggwyn Trench
17-10-2009, 16:35
I started on Bass special keg , mainly because if you asked for lager or cider you wouldnt get served , but bitter drinkers were deemed over 18 !
Worthington E was available as cask , very nice it was to .
Most of these "smooth beers" give me indigestion and a raging headache due to the nitrogen rich gas they are served with (old keg was straight co2 , new keg is up to 5o/50 co2/nitrogen

oldboots
17-10-2009, 17:09
And before the smart bottoms say, no not there :D
However it set me thinking, back hundreds of years to my yoof and the memory of just how lovely Worthington E and Red Barrel, Drum Mild etc was at the time

Not my experience, for me Red Barrel was only surpassed in its horribleness by Watney's Starlight Bitter, even Whitbread Trophy was better, that's why I drank Guinness until someone pointed me at Gales Ales. Yes many pubs were uniquely grotty and the beer foul in the 70s but then lots still are. I don't know if "ping and fling" is any better than the manky sarnies of yesteryear.


I personally think keg has a place - some pubs just can't sell real ale, be it their target customer base, their location of cellar, their skill, and so keg makes a viable offer.

Yes absolutely right, if they can't look after it they shouldn't bother, there's too many places that appear to be trying to get on a "Real Ale" bandwagon simply because it's the one sector that's growing or the brewery/pubco says they must sell it.

arwkrite
17-10-2009, 19:53
What wonderful memories are invoked by the old names mentioned here . Back then I prefered "fizzy" beer to flat boring ale. Quality control was a bit hit and miss and upset stomachs from an off pint were more common than today. ( Or perhaps it was from the newly introduced Chicken in a Very Unhealthy Basket). For me it was Cheese and Onion Cobs every time.

Straight forward keg beers I do not mind but like others Smooth Flow gives me problems such as lack of taste and headaches. The pint feels and tastes dead is the best I can describe it.
To often keg beers are served at far to low a temperature.If I want something ice cold and tasteless I will drink Fosters or Carling which is normally offered at a special low price but summers rarely get that hot thank gawd.
Served at proper temps I have enjoyed many keg bitters which have been slated by the real ale fans.In fact you may deem me not to fussy but some of us have to be Phillistines.:glass: < a new one !

Farway
18-10-2009, 12:29
Now you all mention it I find many kegs, and ciders, all seem to be served too cold for me, which is why I now avoid them

Over chilled seems to be a modern trait, just because they can, and presumably like too much salt / sugar in food, being very cold can hide the naff taste of the product

aleandhearty
19-10-2009, 11:38
I personally think keg has a place - some pubs just can't sell real ale, be it their target customer base, their location of cellar, their skill, and so keg makes a viable offer.

Eddie,I think another alternative would be to have a small range of bottle conditioned ales. I'd certainly buy them.


.
Yes absolutely right, if they can't look after it they shouldn't bother, there's too many places that appear to be trying to get on a "Real Ale" bandwagon simply because it's the one sector that's growing or the brewery/pubco says they must sell it.

My big fear about everyone jumping on the real ale bandwagon is a potential backlash if supply exceeds demand and quality falls due to lack of turnover.


Over chilled seems to be a modern trait, just because they can, and presumably like too much salt / sugar in food, being very cold can hide the naff taste of the product

A decent beer should be palatable at any temperature. Try letting cheap eurofizz warm up even a few degrees, not even tepid, and try drinking it then.

arwkrite
19-10-2009, 13:13
I find the more you chill beer or lager the less taste you get but if lager reaches a good beer temp the taste really goes off. I can drink a slow pint of beer but feel rushed once a glass of lager begins to warm up.Over chilled beer I leave to warm up.
The worst cases I came across were in Florida where they poured super chilled beer ( ? ) into glasses straight from freezers.The result was a huge chunk of ice formed in the glass. The subtle nuances of taste are completely lost. Bottles or cans from the liquor store I found a far better bet. But you cannot beat them for barbecued baby back ribs because in this country we use pork. Yeah rubbish joke.

Oggwyn Trench
20-10-2009, 13:27
If you get the chance try Cotswold Lager , its not like what us Brits call Lager as its full of flavour , refreshing and got a bit of body to it , also its not served virtually frozen .

Conrad
20-10-2009, 14:56
I'll keep an eye out for them, they do sound interesting (http://www.cotswoldbrewingcompany.com/lager.html). Surprised to see no mention of Bristol on their pubs page as I would have said we were fairly local.

arwkrite
21-10-2009, 08:05
My list of recommended drinks is getting longer.Gawd help me if I ever find them all at one stop.
Do they still make Wrexham Lager ? .It used to be in every caravan clubhouse I visited in Wales. Others that come to mind are Worthington Best Bitter and Whitbread Tankard which cannot have been that bad because I drank so much of it. I dont remember much real ale unless you went in the pubs and the quality was variable. It was a case of sticking with what you knew on"foriegn "holidays back then.:D

Soup Dragon
21-10-2009, 22:01
Do they still make Wrexham Lager ? .It used to be in every caravan clubhouse I visited in Wales.

I believe, Mr A, it wasn't called Wrexham Lager because it was brewed there, but because of the effect it had on the drinkers:rolleyes:

I am more than happy to have a keg MILD, i often prefer it to a cask beer - you know, the GK IPAs and the more common ones. Whilst cold, they are generally still fine, except for a couple - Hardy & Hansons for example - it is so cold, i think it is aimed at the penquin market.

PS, vanity, young Conrad, putting your own picture up as a smilie:muppet:

arwkrite
22-10-2009, 05:54
Hello Mr. Arch , did you manage your Chester crawl? I have the mrs in hospital with complications so our travels will be restricted for a while. I taken a few photos in Hereford in between visiting hours ,hope to get a few more weather permitting. The Kings Fee , a 'Spoons, is just around the corner from the hospital so I am OK for the essentials in life.
Couple of new to me ales I have found to be good are Cameronian ( Edinburgh Brewers ?) and XXX from Exe Valley Brewers. The last one from 'Spoons at 1.89.
I remember Wrexham lager as not being that great and the butt of many jokes. The Shopshire brewer and pub owner Greenals brewed beer I never liked. Wales had a number of breweries ,which over time I have forgotten, whose cask products you only drank illegaly on a Sunday and so tasted better than they were.The caravan club houses were crowded with local lads on a Sunday and nationalistic, football or girl rivalries set of trouble. Drinking in supposedly closed pubs was the easier option.I have not had a caravan holiday in Wales for over twenty years so I expect things have changed. More real ale and microwaved food ?