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Thread: boring brown bitter

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    Not much choice in a lot of North Yorkshire, Theakstons, Black Sheep or John Smiths only in most pubs unless you're in York or Harrogate. Sam Smiths (if you can find one of their pubs that's open) is generally cold vinegar and best avoided. I wouldn't call Landlord a BBB, it is notoriously difficult to look after and requires a lot of cellar time but when on form is glorious. Bass is extremely variable and used to have a reputation as hard to keep well.

    The others are a bit southern apart from the bloody awful Doombar, the less awful Pride and the quite good Tribute. I grew up on Courage Best which really was a boring brown bitter especially when it was brewed in Bristol, thank god Ringwood came along (before Marstons screwed it up). Palmers and Badger never appealed to me, and I used to drink McMullens keg mild in preference to their bitter. Visits to London meant decent Youngs and Fullers but that was a long time ago.
    Sam Smiths would fall into the last category but I remember have 3 pints in the Cittie of York that were superb.Sadly about 8 years ago.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    I react badly to the use of the term "boring brown beer", with the implication that the person who owns up to liking it (whatever "it" may be) is lacking in taste and discernment. In fact, a lot of the beers mentioned in this post are not what I would call brown, though I would agree that many of them are bland. In my opinion this is because they are national brands which are trading on their name rather than their taste. The brewer therefore has to avoid doing anything to the beer that would frighten the horses. Like adding hops.



    I like the image, though in reality I don't find that London Pride bears any resemblance to Doom Bar in terms of colour or flavour; the only similarity perhaps being that it is ubiquitous in pubs where the licensee has no afinity for real ale and therefore doesn't have much idea of how to keep it and serve it well.





    Those are two beers that still fully deserve the name "bitter". Too many beers I come across nowadays have nothing bitter about them apart from the name on the pump clip. To the extent that I was afraid the problem lay with my ageing taste buds, until drinking again the two beers mentioned by Aqualung. I miss Boddingtons and Tetleys, two extremely bitter beers from the past. The latest version of Tetleys is sweet rather than bitter, in my experience.
    Stop reacting badly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Thanks Mick. I know your BBB references are more often than not tongue in cheek, though that knowledge doesn't necessarily stop them getting under my skin!

    Two of the blandest pale beers in my experience are Thwaites Wainwright, now just known as Wainwright, a nationally available brand named after a famous son of Blackburn, and the locally popular Bradfield Farmers Blonde. Always referred to by me and my Sheffield mates as Farmers Bland, this beer is the most popular choice in the Kelham Island Tavern. Boring Bland Beer indeed.
    I am sure I have read Farmers blonde is the best selling beer in Sheffield. Takes all kinds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    Yes, so thanks for asking!
    Glad to see someone come out of the closet.

  5. #25
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    ... the locally popular Bradfield Farmers Blonde. Always referred to by me and my Sheffield mates as Farmers Bland, this beer is the most popular choice in the Kelham Island Tavern. Boring Bland Beer indeed.
    I've never had a Bradfield beer I liked, dire is the word, their Belgian Blue is one of the most vile beers I've ever had.

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    Quote Originally Posted by london calling View Post
    My son lives in Sunbury where there are 2 possibly 3 Breakspears pubs and the pint of bitter I drank about a year ago would fit in the lowest category.

    Brakspear was a revered brewer back in the 70s and early 80s. All their tied houses were within about 15 miles of the brewery so there certainly weren't any in Sunbury. They were all in South Oxfordshire, Berkshire, South Bucks and just one in Hampshire. Many of them were unspoilt rural pubs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    I react badly to the use of the term "boring brown beer"
    Quote Originally Posted by london calling View Post
    Stop reacting badly.
    Great advice! Thanks John.
    Come On You Hatters!

  8. #28
    This Space For Hire Wittenden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post

    I had a couple of Holt's bitters this week and quite enjoyed them. It is brown but has a good bitterness. The price tag of £2.96 was a lot higher than I expected!
    On my sole visit to Manchester in the 1970s,the unanimous verdict on Holt's bitter is that it made grown men weep,being so bitter.Can't remember the colour though. Never seen it since.

    The main problem with BBB seems to be when they are the token real ale in a disinterested pub:a tired pint of Pride or Bombardier does cask no favours,especially as they are advertised prominently. I'm surprised that Bradfield attracts such opprobium: I came across their beer around 7 or 8 years ago, and remember waxing lyricalerhaps things have changed for the worse.
    Of the regional cask bitters seen in my part of Kent Adnams Southwold bitter stands up well;Sheps Master Brew comes across as harsh, and not a patch on its glory days before they changed the yeast and used hop pellets; Harveys SBB can be unimpeacheable and as good as it ever was, but is over exposed,and the last time I tried Young's Special-not recently-I found it cloyingly sweet. I tend to avoid most Marston's beer, with the exception of Jennings,along with GKIPA and Badger (mainly due to their ruin of King and Barnes.)
    Having said all that, a well brewed, well served bitter is a thing of great joy,especially when one doesn't want to be challenged by one's drink.
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

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    I'm a bit confused by the term Boring Brown Bitter. Judging by some of the contributions above it seems to be a brown bitter that the drinker doesn't care for rather than a generic term based on the colour of the beer and that its traditional nature was to be scorned in the face of the straw coloured acid and the dark soupy gravy that is in vogue these days.

    I assumed that BBB draws its opprobrium from ubiquity and that the great unwashed like it (actually they like lager) than anything to do with taste.

  10. #30

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    TT Landlord: I'm with OB, the elusive well kept pint is an absolute joy BBB or not.
    Fullers ESB: Again, kept well this is excellent. Does its strength preclude it from BBB status?
    Bass: Been very good since brewed by Marstons and closely resembles the drink which my formative years saw plenty of. Prefer it to the new and abysmally treated Pedigree. Both can be classed a BBBs.
    I'd also add Everards Tiger which again, when kept well, is a very reliable session ale and easily defined as a BBB.

    Struggle to find anything positive to say about Bombardier, GK IPA, Batemans, Lees, Holts, Robinsons, McMullens, Youngs (now), Sam Smiths, Spitfire (what have they done to it?) etc. Then again, there are plenty of non-BBB's which fall into this category.

    As long as it's good (and agreeing with John about meat and poison), BBB or not, I'm happy to drink it.
    "Beer is food." Morse, Colin Dexter

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