Saturday, 25 June 2011

Yet more beer watering

The latest issue of the CAMRA newsletter What’s Brewing reports that Wells & Youngs have reduced the strength of cask Bombardier from 4.3% ABV to 4.1%. This is hot on the heels of Bateman’s cutting the strength of their flagship XXXB.

Who needs an anti-drink lobby when the brewers are doing their work for them?

It’s getting increasingly difficult to find any cask beer above 4.5% on the bars of mainstream pubs. On the other hand, there’s no problem amongst the ranks of the premium bottled ales on Tesco’s shelves.

Ironically, there is one of the “Rik Mayall” advertisements for Bombardier immediately below the relevant news item.


  1. I agree. My favourite beer strengths are in the 4.5% to 5% range. Beers under 4% usually taste thin and lacking in body to me. I find it increasingly difficult to find beer of my preferred strength.

  2. Up here in my local, Abbot Ale and Pendle Witches Brew are the main ones that get are anywhere near the 5% mark. Most beers I find in pubs today are, as RedNev says, lacking in body and are very thin.

    What's the point of having cask beer if there is no-one to accept the diversity in taste? We all know that pubs are struggling and become more conservative with time but the other side of the argument is that people who want to actually drink something interesting are frequently better off finding a good bottle shop and staying at home.

  3. I know that brewers are doing this because they struggle to sell stronger cask beers in sufficient volumes, but even so it does represent a regrettable narrowing of the range of strengths available.

    I was recently looking through a leaflet of forthcoming (in-house) guest beers in a Marston's pub, and every single one was between 3.6% and 4.5%.

    I remember when Ruddles' cask range consisted of Blue at OG 1032 and County at 1050.

    Perhaps brewers could consider offering their stronger beers as craft keg (ducks)

  4. Marstons pedi is 4.5%abv. I think it was only just above 4 in 1975. Is this true Curm? I like the weaker beers. The 1975 Boddington's wasn't strong, but still fantastic.

  5. correction. there'e no apostrophe in Boddingtons.

  6. There used to be an apostrophe in Boddington's ;-)

    The 1977 Good Beer Guide quotes Pedigree as being 1043 OG, which given that it was always a fairly well attenuated beer probably equates to an ABV of 4.5%.


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