Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Drinking outside the box

I've recently had some glimpses into the world of normal beer drinkers. A thread on a climbing forum asked "what's the worst brewery?" and the answers weren't quite what I expected.

That Black Isle got a mention was the first surprise, but then they did have an infection problem at one point. Then Brewdog were mentioned, but they do have quality issues and some of their beers won't be to everyone's taste. But when I saw Thornbridge listed I didn't know what to think. I can't remember a beer geek every complaining about them, except me about some of their prices that is.

Then down the Crown I heard that Windsor and Eton Kohinoor, a bitter IPA with a strong new world hop flavour, was selling slowly. Soon after I heard another brewer complaining how much Doom Bar was sold round his way. All I could think was, well, that's just how the world is.

Outside of beer geekdom there are a lot of people out there that don't like full flavoured and assertive beers. It's not just that they're happy to drink mildly flavoured beers, the don't actually like ones which aren't. As beer geekery tends to the extremophile end of things it's good to be reminded that most people stay away from the hop springs and drink in milder climates.


  1. Ed, there are a lot of people out there who don't like full-flavoured, assertive cheeses either, but it's interesting to see this sort of feedback. The number of drinkers I know, who are not CAMRA members or in any way connected with beer geekery, who say Doom Bar is a fantastic beer is legendary.

    Horses for courses I suppose, but one we ought to take on board outside our own rather closeted world of beer appreciation.

  2. Funny you should say that but I used to much prefer rubbery mild cheddar to tangy mature stuff.

  3. I did as well when I was a lot younger Ed, but I think our taste buds mature as we get older. It's probably the same thing with beer in that we don't really appreciate a full-flavoured pint that's packed with character, until we get that little bit older.

  4. Having tried Doom Bar a number of times over the years, I've found it to be fairly bland and often under conditioned [in a similar way to what London Pride has become].

    However, I was pleasantly surprised when I sampled some gravity served Doom Bar at Hersham Beer Festival last year, and found that it can be a very nice beer.

    The next Hersham Beer Festival is on 5/6July, so there maybe another chance to try the Doom Bar again and see if it was a one-off...