British beer has long had the reputation from the Europeans and the Americans as being somewhat average. But if you ask some Brits what they think of one of their favorite tipples they will probably sing its praises. But since the formation of CAMRA it cannot be disputed that there are some excellent beers currently being brewed in the UK. Some famous wit once was quoted as saying, there are no Bad Beers, it’s just that some are better than others. But this is definitely not the case, there have been some really dodgy British beers that were mostly produced by the large brewing corporations.
John Smith’s Extra Smooth
The fascination of the large brewing corporations for making smooth beers is quite baffling. Are they trying to attract teenagers to an adult pleasure? Extra Smooth by John Smith is quite repulsive, it does not seem to have anything in common with real beer whatsoever and has no hoppy taste at all. Why do the major brewers all think they have to produce a beer that tastes the same as each other? It makes no sense at all, the idea of trying beers by different breweries is that you can enjoy a unique experience, not drink the same brew.
Gibbs Mew Keg Bitter
When the large brewing companies first started to carve up the British beer market, they forced many small and traditional breweries out of business. In the West of England this was particularly the case, and old family businesses such as Eldridge Pope, Devenish, and Ushers all went to the wall. One brewery that survived was Gibbs Mew, and it was one of the first to introduce an all-keg policy for the distribution of its draught beer. Their Keg Bitter was particularly bad, in fact, quite vile, and whoever passed the formula for this brew surely did not work in the brewing trade. Watney’s Star Light Watney’s Star Light.
Watney’s Star Light
Watney’s were known for making some pretty awful beer, Red Barrel one of its biggest success was little more than fizzy water that had no depth to it. But Watney’s actually managed to eclipse this average brew when they released Star Light. Star Light was downright nasty and had a most unpleasant taste, it was almost like drinking a badly made cup of tea and looked about the same. The brewery did not seem to care that it was making bad beer as it had so many tied-houses that were forced to buy only their beer.
Our final beer is a little controversial as a great many people love Courage beer, and on its day can taste really good. The problem with Courage Best is that it varies so much from pub to pub and from keg to keg. Of course there can be many reasons why this is so, and the most likely reason is that in order to supply the demand the brewery sent out brew batches that were not quite ready for consumption. These pretty bad beers were quite distasteful, and thankfully the brewing industry has gone full swing and more and more micro-breweries are popping up that are making some excellent real ales and lagers.