Well, my survey on “do you drink ‘smooth’ bitters?” has closed, with fairly predictable results:
Yes, and I never touch cask: 3 (3%)
Usually, but I occasionally drink cask: 0 (0%)
Sometimes, but I prefer cask: 11 (10%)
No, not if I can help it: 81 (77%)
I prefer other draught products to ales: 5 (5%)
I never drink any draught beer or cider: 5 (5%)
But if cask is so strongly preferred, why is it that “smooth” commands a substantial price premium? In Wetherspoons the other day, Ruddles Best Bitter was £1.55 a pint, John Smith’s Extra Smooth, a beer of similar strength, £1.95. Robinsons, Holts and Hydes all price smooth higher than cask bitter. In the real world, Pete Brown’s cask beer price premium is a long way off. Real drinkers will pay a premium for consistent but bland smooth beer.
Personally, I can’t stand the stuff, and in extremis would prefer cooking lager.