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UK beer scene


read 36035 times • 403 replies • posted 8/26/2010 3:40:49 PM

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MagicDave6 1:2
Just an off shoot to add to this thread.

Whats the general feeling towards the number of Gastro pubs that are opening at the moment?
9/14/2010 2:49:07 AM

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MagicDave6 1:2
What are peoples thoughts on the current large amount of Gastro pubs that are opening?
9/14/2010 3:15:39 AM

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chriso 7344:356
Originally posted by MagicDave6
What are peoples thoughts on the current large amount of Gastro pubs that are opening?

As long as they donít make people who just want a drink unwelcome or uncomfortable Iím easy. Preferably separate drinking and dining areas - I hate walking into a "pub" just for a drink and finding all the tables already set for dining.

It can be particularly problematic in rural areas - in urban areas itís easy to move on somewhere else if the atmosphere isnít to your liking. I can understand why some country pubs feel the need to concentrate on food for economic reasons but, especially if it is the only pub in the village, it can alienate the locals and rob the pub of much of its appeal (as in that Morrissey Fox fiasco). And, if Iíve been out walking, Iíll generally want to stop for a refreshing pint and maybe something straightforward to eat, not to walk into what to all intents and purposes is an upmarket restaurant. A high proportion of flash motors in the car park can be a bad omen.
9/14/2010 3:45:10 AM

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haddonsman 1234:56
Originally posted by evilempire
I would suggest that the lowest common denominator is brewing brown toffee-ish malty stuff, since this covers probably 90% of the cask beer market by volume if not number of beers.


Simple solution to that, Dave. Stop ticking. The more you tick, the more vague brown íspecialsí will be brewed. Youíre providing the demand.

And now, tongue out of cheek... thereís something about a session bitter that is more than the equal of an uber-bastard barrel-aged douple triple hoo-ha from Kyrgyzstan. As Silk says, perhaps thatís more to do with place, company, mood etc in that a light-bodied yet still tasty beer provides social lubrication dwon the pub rather than the feeling of having your sinuses blown and then missing the last bus.

As for gastro pubs - they ainít building them round here in the Midlands. Of the last ten re-openings / refurbishments Iíve been to, only one is possibly in the gastro-band (if by gastro we mean not just food-led but restaurant-ish presentation, decor and prices).

And for the record - Iíd rather see a thriving gastropub than an empty village pub.

9/14/2010 3:49:55 AM

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cgarvieuk 13148:151
Originally posted by haddonsman
And for the record - Iíd rather see a thriving gastropub than an empty village pub.




me to.
Especially as while some are not laid out for drinkers. ive never failed to just get a drink in one.

Mind you most round here only have Deuchers
9/14/2010 4:43:00 AM

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harrisoni 12648:20
Originally posted by haddonsman

And now, tongue out of cheek... thereís something about a session bitter that is more than the equal of an uber-bastard barrel-aged douple triple hoo-ha from Kyrgyzstan. As Silk says, perhaps thatís more to do with place, company, mood etc in that a light-bodied yet still tasty beer provides social lubrication dwon the pub rather than the feeling of having your sinuses blown and then missing the last bus.




The pint of Bass I had in the Clifton Hotel in Folkestone last night would be the perfect example of this. They only sell one beer, Bass, but have 2 handpulls, so that they can clean one whilst the other is being used. The conditioning is always perfect as is the temperature, not too warm, not too cold (something that seems to be happening more) It had just enough yeast character, malt/fruit and slightly bitter hop on the end to be interesting, but nothing jumped out at you to slap you in the face. Ersatz - is that the word? The whole was greater than the sum of its parts?? I sat reading my book, quaffing my beer and only at the end did I think "that was a delicious pint, but I canít tell you why." The perfect conditioning helped. I know some people will say Bass isnít what it once was, but at that hotel bar, it is the perfect UK brown bitter in my opinion.

AndrewC makes some good points. Having drunk with him for over 20 years, Iím pretty au fait with Andrewís drinking habits and preferences. He doesnít want a big everything beer in a bottle (which can often be over-carbonated and needs some decanting in order to get the gas out to release the aromas and flavours - mind you his avatar suggests he did like the De Molen Rasputin), but a simple British Brown Bitter served in tip top condition in an interesting pub. Whatís so wrong with that?

Martyn at the Butcherís Arms in Herne was looking for a replacement c.4% ABV brown bitter during the winter when the Harveyís Sussex Best Bitter he normally has on all the time was not conditioning right due to the lower temperature outside (beer wasnít arriving from the brewery with sufficient condition - took ages in the pub to get it to the right level of conditioning, therefore taking up stillage space).

So the question is what decent c. 4% UK brown bitters are there?

Iíll kick off with:-

Harveyís Sussex Best Bitter
9/14/2010 4:55:48 AM

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harrisoni 12648:20
Originally posted by MagicDave6
What are peoples thoughts on the current large amount of Gastro pubs that are opening?


Not seen any down in Kent. There was one in West Malling. Ashford, Canterbury and Maidstone donít seem to have suffered from regular pubs closing and re-opening as gastro pubs. Mind you we are all hicks down here compared with the metrosexual Laaaarndaaaaarrrrrnnn
9/14/2010 5:02:28 AM

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imdownthepub 9623:398
Originally posted by harrisoni
Originally posted by haddonsman

And now, tongue out of cheek... thereís something about a session bitter that is more than the equal of an uber-bastard barrel-aged douple triple hoo-ha from Kyrgyzstan. As Silk says, perhaps thatís more to do with place, company, mood etc in that a light-bodied yet still tasty beer provides social lubrication dwon the pub rather than the feeling of having your sinuses blown and then missing the last bus.




The pint of Bass I had in the Clifton Hotel in Folkestone last night would be the perfect example of this. They only sell one beer, Bass, but have 2 handpulls, so that they can clean one whilst the other is being used. The conditioning is always perfect as is the temperature, not too warm, not too cold (something that seems to be happening more) It had just enough yeast character, malt/fruit and slightly bitter hop on the end to be interesting, but nothing jumped out at you to slap you in the face. Ersatz - is that the word? The whole was greater than the sum of its parts?? I sat reading my book, quaffing my beer and only at the end did I think "that was a delicious pint, but I canít tell you why." The perfect conditioning helped. I know some people will say Bass isnít what it once was, but at that hotel bar, it is the perfect UK brown bitter in my opinion.

AndrewC makes some good points. Having drunk with him for over 20 years, Iím pretty au fait with Andrewís drinking habits and preferences. He doesnít want a big everything beer in a bottle (which can often be over-carbonated and needs some decanting in order to get the gas out to release the aromas and flavours - mind you his avatar suggests he did like the De Molen Rasputin), but a simple British Brown Bitter served in tip top condition in an interesting pub. Whatís so wrong with that?

Martyn at the Butcherís Arms in Herne was looking for a replacement c.4% ABV brown bitter during the winter when the Harveyís Sussex Best Bitter he normally has on all the time was not conditioning right due to the lower temperature outside (beer wasnít arriving from the brewery with sufficient condition - took ages in the pub to get it to the right level of conditioning, therefore taking up stillage space).

So the question is what decent c. 4% UK brown bitters are there?

Iíll kick off with:-

Harveyís Sussex Best Bitter


Darn it, the Brown Bitter bit got me as Hook Norton Bitter is on the Gold side. However; I have 2 for you :-

Adnams Bitter (Southwold or The, whatever they are calling it these days)
Acorn Barnsley Bitter.
9/14/2010 5:14:40 AM

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bobinlondon 1250:12
Taylors Best.
9/14/2010 5:22:29 AM

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tdtm82 668:75
Thinks we need to ask Thornbridge and Dark Star to make some winter ales - brown bitters, there is definitely a market. I canít wait to be drinking Evinís 1890 in the winter and I will be doing that LOTS.

I am thinking, what is the ultimate winter beer? A brown bitter or an imperial stout? Something we donít feel guilty drinking or that heart warming lust affair you get with a knock out insane imperial stout with a little bourbon element? Would be interesting to read peopleís thoughts on this, people here whom have been drinking a lot longer than me, so hopefully can point me out in the right direction this winter.
9/14/2010 5:42:58 AM

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