I have to confess to a particular affection for this grog due to one particular reason. Melanie Sykes. A model and TV presenter and star of the following TV commercial parodying the arty beer ads produced by the likes of Guinness. She’s a bit long in the tooth these days, and prone to advertising cheap shoes (link to Wynsors world of shoes removed but if you want a pair of shoes for £4 that last 2 weeks before falling apart feel free to google them) but she remains a guilty pleasure. An older bird that you would. Interestingly an ale advertised to younger drinkers. Something that doesn’t really occur much these days with the current national ale brand, John Smiths, targeting middle aged men. This beer was my first pint of ale, as an under aged drinker, and I remember quite liking it. Thankfully most advertising these days to the likes of me is lager related, so I’m only rarely tempted towards ale, usually only when I have to go into a pub and realise the ale is the cheapest grog in the place.
The beer is usually disparaged by beer aficionados. It’s nitro keg, produced by Inbev who closed the Strangeways brewery it originated from and started brewing it in Wales. Though it was never much liked by the ale jihadists even when it was the cream of Manchester, despite being the subject of arguably one of the best songs ever to originate from the band, The Macc Lads. There is a cask version knocking about, I believe brewed in Manchester, by Hydes. But I could be wrong. Drinking that would involve going into a pub, and that’s for losers, so let’s not go there.
This brand used to be pretty much the national ale brand of Britain. Widely advertised and available pretty much everywhere. Now you hardly see hide nor hare of it. There was even a spin off, Boddingtons Gold, a stronger version that appears to have died a death in Britain but is marketed in foreign climes as Boddies Pub ale, as fellow blogger Arielle looked at here, an American lady of beer appreciation.
But it’s the cheap English grog I’ve been necking. At 3.5% I think it’s weaker than it was. I remember this being 3.8% on keg and cans, and about 4% on cask. As it’s ale I needed an ale glass. The official glass looks like it’s for nonces so I could not be bothered nicking one. Not even for the purpose of blogging so I drank it out of the one and only dimpled pint pot I possess. I can’t remember where I nicked this one from. I think I nicked it because I wanted a dimpled pint pot, and for no other reason. I tried googling the Devonshire Ales logo, but presumably it’s a long defunct brewery. Still, it’s a can of bitter in a dimpled pint pot. Old Skool.
The one remarkable trait of this grog is that despite being described as “bitter” on the can, there is nothing actually bitter about it. It tastes nondescript. I loved it. None too fond of the bizarre creamy foam but loved the clear nutty brown colour, lack of aroma and ice cold absence of taste as it slipped down. At 24 cans for a tenner, it’s a bit of a bargain. I shall enjoy the rest.