For me it’s the moment when I walk into supermarket and see a stack of boxes 3 for £20; there’s a sense of the bargain, the excitement of mental arithmetic as I work out which of the boxes offers the cheapest neckable grog. Unlike the sting of paying upward of £3 a pint in a pub for weird pong of variable quality, these boxes represent something different, something consistent and reliable, a known quantity, something which only need lugging into the boot of car and chilling so that it’s in perfect condition for necking. Standing in front of the tall stacks of cooking lager I spot the brand that is cheapest today and say to myself “Oh Yes”. The checkout girl pushes my box over the scanner and I say “6 boxes of that treacle” and with expert customer facing skills she asks for my loyalty card so I can collect points from my purchase. I scoot home with excitement knowing I have enough grog to either kill an elephant or last me months. For mere buttons I have my own personal river of lovely lout to neck at my own pace. When I get round to cracking one open the gleaming gold liquid slips down a treat. Raising it to my lips I notice the exquisite lack of pong and a background of easy drinking delight, but it’s the first mouthful which wins it; ice cold on the tongue, a powerful fizz, never so gentle you don’t notice it but enough to produce a manly belch; it’s got wet, cold and then a belch which leaves you craving another gulp.
From the moment I had my first can of cheap lout I knew that things had changed forever and never would a pint of pongy, overpriced, inconsistent, small scale produced ale taste the same again. I remember where it was, what it was and who I was with. It was different – cold, not cool. It was fizzy and not lightly carbonated. It was easy to drink and pleasurable with each mouthful. It was brewed efficiently in a giant brewery miles away. It was golden and delicious. It hadn’t got any of that pongy flavour and there was no aftertaste that was unpleasant (I later realised that that was the lack of hops). I learnt the brands that were the cheapest and could trust, I learnt what my favourite price was, cheap, and that ingredients didn’t much matter. Over time it all changed. My tastes went from 4% to 5%, then back to 4%. I got interested in beers from other supermarkets that might be cheaper; I tried all the bargains and knew that you could eat all foods with the beer in my hand, because it didn’t matter. The richness of this dinner would work well with lout; the spice in this needs the fire fighting cool of lout; all louts would be amazing with everything; this lout needs a pie on the side if I feel like a pie.
And then one day I realised that the romance had turned into something greater. I wanted to get better cheaper bargains and had butterflies when I went somewhere that sold lout cheaper than I’d ever seen it before. It’s something I can still feel, an excitement, a heart-pounding thrill. I went to different supermarkets and bought a box of Foster’s, I discovered the Foster’s of Morrison’s, the Carling of Sainsbury’s and the delicious Carlsberg of Tesco, the best louts of Britain – the best beers which I can drink all the time. I drank it all because it was all so cheap. And I was writing about it too, on this rubbish. I had no interest in beer geekery so I chose what I was most interested in: winding up those that wanted to put the price of cheap lout up. I wanted to write about the sensations of the senses, the joy of a bargain; to put words to what I was experiencing, an orgasmic thrill.
Lout is British and it’s brilliant. I might like all beers but I keep coming back to British Lout as it keeps getting cheaper and more exciting - some of the best louts in the world are brewed here. Whether it’s 4%, 5%, bottle or can, it’s made with precision to a quality standard, dirt cheap and there’s a lout out there for everyone. Lout rocks and it’s turning the heads and hearts of young and old - its reputation is rapidly changing from wife beater to simply a reliable and consistent beer you can trust and I’m proud to be grabbing bargains from the front line.
Dredgie disagrees, but he would.