Sunday, 17 May 2009

Upscale drinking

Throughout my drinking career there has been a generally understood principle that you start on the weaker drinks and work your way up to the strongest. So your evening tends to go Mild – Bitter – Special Bitter – Strong Ale. But does it need to work like that? Might it be a good idea to drink a pint of stronger beer early on, to maximise the alcohol kick, and then take the evening more easily on weaker beers? And it’s often been said that in Robinson's pubs, if arriving early, it's best to start on the bitter and only move on to mild once you're happy it's been pulled through.

Does this rule make sense, or is it just a superstition?


  1. I think the best way is to start with a single lager as a refresher. A good lager (not shite) is fantastic at quenching that thirst (only in summer, mind). Then it is time to move on to pale ales, and as you get drunker you must move on to stronger ales, finishing with porters and stouts. The reason being, that the drunker you get, the less you can taste, and it has to get stronger so you can enjoy the beer, rather than drunkenly downing pint after pint. Saying that, for drinking adventures greater than ten hours, a solid best bitter or IPA can see you through a day.

    Got two weekends in The Fat Cat in Norwich coming up. Thirty-odd beers to get through. H'oway the lads!

  2. I only drink milds after I have exhausted the range of strong ales... On second thoughts, it depends what is available. I have favourites but I am likely to try any beer new to me that is above 5%. I'm sure I am employing an algorithm (and not a complex one). So it's 5% (irrespective of ale type) first then the favourites. Mild drinks are pretty much an after thought, unless it is significantly cheaper than the other ales (which it rarely seems to be, as there is only 10p difference or so).

  3. This seems to be the strategy of a certain type of drinker-they're usually older than the average, I find. It has the appeal of seemingly being logical but I've never found "drinking to order" particularly beneficial, so don't bother with it myself.

  4. Weakish bitter or mild or even god forbid a shandy at lunchtime, best bitter on a school night, stronger stuff if there is a lie in tomororow and the young lady is not expecting a cuddle. If mixing it up, I prepare to apologise to all I need to, the following day.

  5. I mostly start weak and work up (but then I'm older than average), although sometimes a strong aperitif beer early in the evening followed by a short gap also works for me.

    The Fat Cat is a truly wonderful pub.


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