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14-08-2011, 12:33
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Well, here are the results of the survey question “Name up to three cask beers that you regard as poor or lacklustre examples of the genre.” As you can see, there’s an even more decisive winner in the shape of Greene King IPA, with Wells Bombardier second and Sharps Doom Bar third.

There are quite a few beers that appear in both lists, such as both Bombardier and Doom Bar, Deuchars IPA, Butcombe Bitter, Holts Bitter and Wadworths 6X. I’m disappointed to see Harveys Sussex Best on this list as to my mind it is one of the finest ordinary bitters in the country.

It is noticeable that this list includes many of the most widely-distributed cask beers in Britain. This raises some interesting questions. Are these intrinsically lacklustre beers, brewed to a lowest common denominator for a mass market? Or is it a case of “familiarity breeds contempt”? Or could it be that, the more widely available a beer is, the more likely it is to end up in outlets that can’t look after cask beer properly, thus damaging its reputation?

For example, Wells Bombardier is a beer that I “think” I don’t much care for. However, I have to say on the past three occasions when I’ve drunk it, generally when there wasn’t much else to choose from, I have found it in good condition and a perfectly pleasant pint.

And does it do the overall cause of cask beer any good when “beer enthusiasts” dismiss many of the cask beers the average drinker is likely to encounter as disappointingly bland?

29 votes:
Greene King IPA

Ten votes:
Wells Bombardier

Eight votes:
Sharps Doom Bar

Six votes:
Marstons Pedigree

Five votes:
Deuchars IPA

Four votes:
Ruddles Best Bitter
Wychwood Hobgoblin

Three votes:
Courage Directors
Greene King Abbot Ale
Hydes Bitter
Shepherd Neame Spitfire
Tetley Bitter
Youngs Bitter

Two votes:
Draught Bass
Fullers London Pride
John Smiths Cask
Marstons EPA
Morland Old Speckled Hen
Ringwood Best Bitter
Robinsons Unicorn
Sam Smiths OBB
Theakstons Best Bitter
Thwaites Bitter
Wadworths 6X
Wells Eagle IPA

One vote:
Ansells Bitter
Any golden ale
Anything by Arkells
Anything by Coach House
Anything by Enville
Anything by Greene King
Anything by Marstons
Anything by Hydes
Anything by Salamander
Arkells 3B
Badger Best Bitter
Banks’s Best (not sure if this means Mild or Bitter)
Bath Ales Gem
Black Sheep Bitter
Boddingtons Bitter
Brains SA
BrewDog Paradox
BrewDog Punk IPA
Butcombe Bitter
Caledonian Golden Promise
Courage Best Bitter
Davenports Bitter
Dorset Piddle Cocky Hop
Everards Sunchaser
Fullers Discovery
Harveys Sussex Best Bitter
Holts Bitter
Holts IPA
Jennings Cumberland Ale
Leeds Brewery Best
Lees Mild
Ramsbury Bitter
Sambrooks Wandle
Shepherd Neame Master Brew
Storm Brewing Storm Damage
Woodfordes Wherry


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