On Saturday after a long session running the bar in our pub, while the landlady was out sponsoring Rochdale FC along with most of the Saturday afternoon regulars, I drove to Cleveleys with E and her mother to attend E's aunt's 85th birthday celebrations. Now this was held in a social club and I just knew it'd be all keg and it was. A quick inspection of the pumps brightened me up a little. Warsteiner, while not my favourite German beer by any means, was on tap. That'd do. E had promised to drive home, I'd have a few of these. No I wouldn't. It was off! With sinking heart I surveyed the remaining choice. Mostly from Thwaites - it was deepest Lancashire after all - and none appealing. Keg mild, smooth bitter, Carling, Guinness and Thwaites brewed Kaltenberg Hell Extra Cold!!
I had a pint of Guinness. The beer was dull, cardboardy and had that strange kind of edge that only harsh pasteurisation can bring. I reflected grimly on the contrast between this parody of a stout and the wonderful, fresh tasting, flavoursome stouts I had enjoyed just a week before at the Porterhouse in London. Pasteurisation ruins beer almost as much as a wishy washy recipe and believe me Guinness nowadays is a wishy washy version of the beer I used to enjoy as a treat when I was a lad. Where has that bitter, heavy, chewy body gone? That hit of roasted malt? The lip smacking East Kent Goldings finish? Gone. I'm told it's so tasteless now, that the Irish call it "black lager". Very appropriate.
I did ask for a taste of the Kaltenberg. I didn't care for it at all either, so one more pint of Guinness was forced down. That was it. Two pints all night. Some people actually drink this stuff as a matter of choice. God help them!
A good session on Lees' Spring Cheer brought me back to decent beer yesterday!
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