Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly

Here is a brief survey on which cask beers people would nominate as good, and which they think are poor. It will be interesting to see how much convergence there is in the results. I can certainly think of one IPA that is likely to feature in the “good” section, and another likely to be classified as “bad”. As with all these surveys, it’s limited to a maximum of 100 responses. Please note I’m really looking for specific beers, not the output of entire breweries.

Edit: and the first two responses include one particular beer in both categories!


  1. Martin, Cambridge3 August 2011 at 09:44

    Problem with this survey is that some beers I particularly enjoyed close to source (Landlord, Deuchars) are often very dran and poorly presented e.g. as the standard North London pub offering. Even GK IPA has tasted wonderful is a few Suffolk/Essex pubs.

  2. Oh yes, I completely agree that many beers that often seem dull can be surprisingly good if well-kept. I've argued in the past that people underestimate the influence that good cellarmanship can have on the quality of beer passed over the bar. For example, a couple of weeks ago I had a pint of Wells Bombardier, a beer that I normally wouldn't cross the street for, which was very enjoyable.

    The point of the survey is more about people's perceptions of what is good and what is not. Incidentally, there are 24 responses so far, which is pretty good going for something that takes a bit of thought and isn't obviously controversial.

  3. Looking at the responses so far it is not exactly surprising that Jaipur IPA is making a strong showing in the first half, and Greene King IPA in the second half. But there are at least three beers that appear in both sections.

  4. I also agree that somewhat underwhelming beer can be surprisingly good if well kept.

    One of the most satisfying pints I ever had was GK Abbott in a free house. The landlord said he knew the trick for making it sing - six weeks in the cellar. He wasn't wrong.

    But it's not usually so good and, like GK IPA (never liked the sour note in it - and I love lambics, so I'm not anti-sour per se) is so ubiquitous that I couldn't hand on heart recommend it as in a huge number of places, it'll be served poorly.

    Some beers - Timmy Taylor Landlord after the famous Madonna incident stands out - are damaged by their ubiquity (i.e. being served in pubs with no clue about cask) despite being solid beers.


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