Hop on the British Bitter Bus 

Three tasty takes on the hoppy staple

Back in the day, most British breweries produced two ordinary ales for consumption in the local pub: a mild and a bitter. There could be wide stylistic differences between breweries but compared to the mild, the bitter would be the drier, more hop-driven of the two. I can't imagine an American industrial brewery labeling its beer as bitter, but what we're talking about here is a soothing, sessionable ale with a nice hop bite designed for everyday consumption. Here are three rather different takes on the style:

Batemans XXXB

Batemans has a nice copper pour with a tight head, is darker than most bitters and offers up soft hops, biscuit and nutty malt aromas. It opens with smooth malt on the palate, backed by a subtle fruit component with touches of green tea and fennel. The dry hop flavors balance things out on the finish. It's a great choice as we segue into spring.

Coniston Brewing Bluebird Bitter

This one pours a clear, bright amber with a creamy head that fades quickly but leaves a nice lacing. Soft and grainy hops dominate the nose, colored by a floral touch of herb and mineral. It's very dry on the palate with just a whisper of sweet, biscuity malt and a well-balanced hit of light, smooth hop bitterness. Despite a fair amount of carbonation, this is an easy-drinking, eminently quaffable ale.

Wells Bombardier

A scarlet-tinged amber in color, the Bombardier throws a thick tan head with good persistence. The aromas are a mix of lightly herbaceous hops and malt with a hint of spice. In terms of body and flavor, it strikes a happy medium between the Batemans and the Coniston ales--not as rich as the former but not as dry as the later. The mild malt flavors up front give way to a refreshing hop bitterness with just sweet fruit coloring the mid palate. Definitely worthy.

Pin It

Latest in Beerguzzler


Comments are closed.

More by David Kirkpatrick

Submit an Event

Today's Pick

Boise Farmers Market

© 2018 Boise Weekly

Website powered by Foundation