Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More beer watering

I was disappointed to learn that Batemans are to cut the strength of their flagship XXXB premium bitter from 4.8% ABV to 4.5%. A Batemans spokeswoman is reported as saying that pub operators were increasingly resistant to taking stronger beers. That is undoubtedly true, and you can’t really blame Batemans for taking that step. I’ve mentioned before how it’s becomingly increasingly rare to find cask beers above 4.5% outside specialist beer pubs. So often now you see a list of forthcoming guest beers in pubs that cluster thickly between 3.7% and 4.3%.

XXXB is (or was) a classic English strong bitter, robust, full-bodied and malty but at the same time dry and with a distinct hop character. Hopefully the bottled version will stay at 4.8% and add to the growing trend of bottled beers being stronger than their cask equivalents.