I’ve never really tasted a bad beer. Some I love, some I like and some I won’t rush to revisit, but none that I’ve ever said “never again”. Like Indiana Jones reluctantly, yet respectfully trying monkey brains for the first time, I found myself politely spitting some beer down the sink this evening, followed swiftly by the rest of the bottle. Before I name the beer which has dented my faith in the brewing industry, it’s important to say that some of my best friends are cooking lagers. I don’t mind them, honestly I don’t. I even happen to rate one or two of them as beers I enjoy, beers that require no thought, just a relaxing sip or gulp while the tv’s on in the background or while the dinners cooking.
Some of these beers carry a label which markets them as ‘Premium’. I know that it doesn’t actually mean anything, but I still expect something made from malted barley and with an abv of around 5%. But then along comes a beer I’ve never seen before, it’s a Premium Lager, 5% abv and only 99p a bottle. I spied it while scanning the shelves at my local off licence, moved past it, before being drawn back to it. “99p!”. I read the bottle and to my surprise it’s bottled close to where I live in Bradford. So against my better judgement and with the phrase “nothing in this world is free” ringing in my ears, I take it to the till along with the other beers I’d selected, pay and exchange pleasantries with the shop owner about how cheap the beer is.
I return to my chilled beer and take it from the fridge door, open it, pour it and take a picture just in case I’ve happened across a special beer for less than £1. I sip the beer and realise that my 99p has gone for ever and all I have to show for it is the non-magical ‘beer’ in my glass. It tastes of nothing, no, it tastes of sugar. It is thin in the mouth and I can’t tell if I’ve swallowed anything…I check in the mirror and my mouth is empty, so I must have swallowed it, which is strange because my tongue usually sends some sort of message to my brain alerting me to take action. Good god, this is in appalling excuse for a beer, it should not carry the label, let alone one purporting to be a ‘Premium’ example. So I lied, I didn’t spit it out, it breached my defences, it made it to my stomach and ultimately withdrew precious savings from my liver. Fuck. Did I mention that I am appalled by this ‘drink”, and I even use that term loosely. Bollocks…I could have bought a lottery ticket.