It will be obvious to readers of this blog that we like ale. Specifically, we like cask ale, provided of course that it’s kept properly and served at the correct temperature. Unfortunately however, many pubs still don't provide such a product and we had to drink a lot of really bad beverages during 2011 in order to complete our task. The following is a list of ales that were so poor that they even rank below Mexican bottled beer and ‘cocktails’ in our completely arbitrary rating system. So starting with the fifth worst and finishing with Chester’s worst ale, here are the bottom five ales of the CBP:
5. Tetley Keg Bitter – Off the Wall (No. 54)
A mid brown heavily carbonated fluid that was ice cold and served in a plastic glass. At least it didn’t taste offensive (it didn’t taste of anything) and that’s why it’s only fifth. At £1.50 a pint, it’s less than half the average price of ale in Chester – but still a rip off.
4. John Smith’s Keg Bitter – The Wheatsheaf (No. 90)
I guess most people who visit this place drink ‘Carling’ or ‘Fosters’ – actually, that’s not true. Most people who visit this place drink Coke or Fanta because they’re taken there by their parents. Anyhow, for whatever reason, the bitter must lie in the keg and the pipes for months, because it tasted almost stagnant - like a flat beer the morning after a party that you might drink as a ‘hair of the dog’ before realising someone’s stubbed a fag out in it.
3. Black Sheep Bitter – The Handbridge (No. 7)
When real ale goes off, it’s horrible - particularly when your starting point is Black Sheep Bitter, which even when it’s kept well is one of the dullest and most uninspiring beers available. We’d have asked for it to be replaced, but there was no alternative. Couldn’t wait to leave this place anyhow.
2. Tetley Keg Bitter – The Westminster Hotel (No. 115)
A reminder of the original tasting notes – “loose change, earwax and hamsters - as bizarre as it was repulsive”. Can’t add a lot to that to be honest. It makes me feel ill just thinking about it. Beer for Beelzebub.
1. Marston’s Keg Bitter – AbarMC at the Abode Chester (No. 61)
Original tasting notes – “utterly putrescent”. Ironically, one of the ponciest establishments in Chester provided the only beer in the entire city that we found to be undrinkable. Cap doffed to Mr. Caines then – that’s quite an achievement. Maybe he should stick to selling over-priced champers to idiots.
So there you have it – five Chester ales to avoid at all costs.
Stay tuned next week for the best ales of the CBP.