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by Jeffery Gredlein

Enjoy the Taste of England…In A Can! | Pub Ale is a creamy treat

The English can seem like a strange lot to us Yanks when it comes to beer. They do most of their drinking in pubs, and usually only until 9 or 10 in the evening. They take their beer in pints, served at or just below room temperature. And most noticeably, many of the beers they drink are hand pumped from a cask, which can result in a beautiful glass of beer, but yields a drink without carbonation; basically they enjoy most of their beers flat! Having visited the UK, I can safely say this is a strange practice. However, I got over these cultural differences in about a day, and went on to enjoy copious amounts of amazing beer. In the wake of the IPA revolution — beers that were created to be sent to the colonies — brewers in England started making beer at home with more hops and alcohol, and a shorter maturation timeframe. These flat, slightly warmer pub beers were dubbed “bitter” for their tangy, somewhat flowery taste, although they are nowhere near as pungent as the American IPAs of recent years. Bitter is the most popular style of beer in England today, and this name is used only for draught beers. The beer that most closely resembles a bitter here in the low country can be found either in bright yellow and black trimmed cans, or pouring forth from a similar colored bar tap. Created at Strangeways Brewery in Manchester, England in 1778, Boddingtons bitter is a pub favorite, and was originally only available from the pump. However, Boddingtons Pub Ale attempts to capture the English draught favorite in a can. I have heard people call Boddingtons a “yellow Guinness” but this isn’t exactly correct.

Although both come in draught cans and pour up in a similar fashion, the two brews are extremely different beasts. With a pop of the tab on the trademarked Draughtflow can and a whoosh of nitrogen, Boddingtons shows up in a light amber, pale gold in color, with a beautiful inch of thick cream, the bubbles being almost indiscernible. The cascading action that takes place as the beer settles and the head rises is fascinating to watch. Some of this head stays with the beer, and a thin layer of lace coats the glass all the way down. Aromas of buttery malt and gentle, floral hops are present. The taste is not too complex, very creamy with a caramel-like taste; moderate grainy malt segues into hops on the sides of the tongue and throat. These are not very strong flavors. The beer feels somewhat full in the mouth to begin yet things even out eventually. However, it is extremely smooth and has no carbonation. If you can get over the lack of bubbles, this is an easy-drinking ale. The somewhat low alcohol content adds to the drinkability. Although I expected more tastes and stronger flavors, Boddingtons is not a bad beer. A great place to start for a classic English ale; draught, but in a can! Representatives of Boddingtons Brewing will be pouring beer (likely from a can), including Pub Ale, at the Summertime Brews Festival, here in town at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center on Saturday. Enjoy the brews. Cheers…

E-mail the Jeffrey Gredlein at beer_snob@hotmail.com

Beer: Pub Ale

Style: english bitter

Brewery: strangeways Brewery

Origin: Manchester, england. ABV: 4.7 percent Pairing: pub grub

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