An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Cooking Bitter


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.

15 comments:

Velky Al said...

I still have a soft spot for Bod, and as the local shop sells it for about 4 quid for a 4 pack (no mass deals here when it come to "imported premium beer"), I am more than happy to indulge from time to time.

Now if only I could find some Caffrey's, if it still exists.

Cooking Lager said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffrey%E2%80%99s
:-
Coors Brewing Company acquired the US distribution rights to Caffrey's in December, 2001 when they purchased UK based Carling Brewers who owned the rights previously. Sometime in 2002, after Coors purchased Caffrey's from Interbrew, it ceased importation of the beer into the US market. Coors decided that continued sale of Caffrey's in the US would interfere with the branding of Killian's as Coors' premier Irish brew. Many Irish bars around the US still have Caffrey's paraphernalia but no longer can sell the beer. Coors' decision to sell Killian's over the nitrogen charged Caffrey's in the US market allowed Diageo, maker's of Guinness, to gain marketshare with its Smithwick's brew in Irish bars throughout the US). Caffrey's is still available in the United Kingdom & Canada.

Barm said...

Didn't Boddington's used to be pale??

Cooking Lager said...

It's a lighter brown than most bitter. Is that pale? It poured out a light brown. I decided on "nutty" to sound like an authentic beer blogger. Of more interest, was Boddies bitter ever in any way "bitter" ?

Velky Al said...

hmmm - another reason to head back to the UK eventually?!

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

I don't even think it tastes bad. There's an Irish pub that I drink at that has it on tap. I think it's a pretty decent beer for what it is.

Tandleman said...

was Boddies bitter ever in any way "bitter" ?

Way back 25 odd years ago it was very bitter and a superb beer worth seeking out. Now it attracts dear old Cookie. Nuff said.

Tyson said...

The original Boddies was indeed both famously pale and bitter and an underage treat for us Manc lads.

Eeh, I remember the days when I could describe a lass of not yet forty as an "older bird". Happy days.

Tandleman said...

You still do, don't you?

Tyson said...

Don't most men, really?!

Penny said...

Many a good tune played on an old fiddle:)

Kristy said...

Velky Al - Caffreys is available in Morrisons and Co Op and some Sainsburys and Tesco's but not all.

Barry said...

Forty isn't old for a bird as long as she is in decent working condition.Admittedly a lot aren't though.

123 123 said...

Nice story as for me. I'd like to read a bit more about that topic.
By the way look at the design I've made myself London escorts

terrycollmann said...

"An older bird that you would"

Is "OBTYW" the Northern for "MILF"?

I think you'll find 123 123 (above) is one of those spiced pork and ham chappies, btw …