I've been down in England quite a lot in recent months and this has given me the opportunity to sample a few beers that I don't get to see all that often round these here parts, at least not on draught. However, Adnams Bitter, the beer I'm talking about today is usually pretty easy to find in pubs this far north, so I didn't have to travel all the way down to London for it...if only I'd known. I could've stayed put and probably only paid £1.50 or so for a pint in Wetherspoons rather than the £2.80 I was 'relieved' of in the 'Adam and Eve' pub. No, I didn't adam and eve their prices either.
The Sole Bay Brewery in the Suffolk town of Southwold has been in business since 1857 when the Adnams brothers established it, although the site has been used for brewing much longer - since the late 14th century, in fact. They brew a range of ales which owe their quality, according to their website, "to the finest East Anglian barley, old-fashioned English hop varieties and famous Adnams yeast." These ales include: Broadside, Suffolk Strong Ale, Regatta, Fisherman and this one, the imaginatively named Bitter.
A blonde strolls into a laundrette, puts her dress on the counter and marches out muttering under her breath, "I'll pick it up on Thursday". "Come again?" replies the assistant. The blonde turns round with an icy glare and shouts indignantly, "No actually, its mayonnaise this time."
Back to the beer...
"Adnams Bitter is brimming with the fragrance of our finest hops and malt, it's dry yet refreshing, with a lingering bitter flavour."
This beer pours a slightly dark, burnished copper colour with good clarity and a crown of tan-coloured, thick and creamy foam. The head lasts really well, only shrinking a little and leaving clumps of frothy lace all the way down the glass.
The aroma is quite fruity, with lots of lemony citrus and a definite sense of apples, maybe even a hint of orange peel. It's pretty floral too so there's no mistaking the hop presence in this one. There's some malt - a little biscuity and doughy, but the nose is all about hops.
It has quite a flattish, watery mouthfeel with a medium body. The initial taste has a bit more malt profile, with crumbly biscuit and soft caramel tones. However, it soon turns decidedly drier and more bitter in the middle with lots of floral and grassy tones. It's a little woody, and a touch nutty, but it's the dry, lingering bitterness that's most noticeable. It finishes with a good hoppy tang leading to a dry, and mouthsmackingly bitter aftertaste.
* The Verdict *
At 3.7% ABV, this is a refreshing and satisfying session ale. It's not the tastiest in the world, nor the most complex, but it's a good, old-fashioned thirst-quencher and there's nothing wrong with that. This isn't a beer you're going to ponder over too much, it's more of an everyday type and definitely a nice one to accompany a pub meal with as it's not going to clash or detract with anything.
As I said, it's not a spectacular beer, but it's a nice easy session ale that you can drink all evening without falling over...hopefully.
Would I drink it again? - Certainly, if I can afford it.
Mmmm...I just tried a really nice beer. It relaxed me after a rotten day at work and made me remember that the world isn't quite as bad as I thought it was. This beer isn't especially strong, but it managed to take the weight of the world from my shoulders! What is this miraculous beverage..... Adnams Bitter! ~~~WHAT IS A BITTER? A bitter is a brew made from a lot of hops, giving it a bitter flavour! Bitters are generally reddish amber to copper in colour and aren't too fizzy; they aren't carbonated too much in the brewing process. They are usually quite dry and are one of the most popular styles of beer drunk in British pubs. There are lots of different brands of Bitter; they vary considerably in quality, taste and texture, but that was a general guide to recognising them....the other big give away is that they are often called - Bitter; or say so on the beer pump (they think of everything these Brewers)! ~~~BACK TO THE ADNAMS! * The Brewery Adnams Brewery, based in Southwold Suffolk, is a really good old brewery. They date back in some shape or form to 1396, but the present brewery was set up in 1857 by Ernest and George Adnams. Since then they have become a well respected name in the brewing world. They supply beer to 96 pubs of their own, as well as loads of other outlets. I usually get to drink it as a Guest Beer or at Beer Festivals. They are growing so popular that they are planning to expand production over the next few years to cope with increased demand. The brewery is renowned for upholding the principles of Real Ale brewing and continued to produce good ales even when the world was turning away from bitter drinking! Adnams produce a number of good seasonal and regular beers. Seasonal offerings include Tally Ho (6.8% ABV) and Regatta (4.1% ABV); their seasonal brews often tie in with an event and are well worth looking out for. The regular brews are just as interesting and include
Broadside (4.7% ABV) and Fisherman (4.5% ABV). I have tried one or two of theses and have thoroughly enjoyed them. * The Alcohol Content Adnams Bitter weighs in at 3.7% ABV and is consequently one of the weaker bitters that I have tried recently. It is, however, an interesting beer with quite a lot of flavour and character. Its lack of strength makes it an excellent session ale; one that I could enjoy consistently and happily over a lunchtime or evening drinking session. It isn?t too strong and unpalatable; it is lighter and didn't leave me weaving my way home! I'm not saying you'd be sober after a few pints, but you will be conscious! * The Beer! Looks wise, it is quite dark (almost nutty brown) with a good head. It settled down reasonably quickly after pouring and didn't appear to be at all cloudy. The aroma was decidedly hoppy, with a fruity lemony scent. I also found there was quite a strong smell of malt too. Taste wise, Adnams Bitter is quite complex for a standard bitter. It was pretty dry, but has a refreshing fruitiness too! The aftertaste is bitter (really?!?) and quite traditional; by that I mean it is a prime example of this style of beer. It is pretty much exactly how I would describe a Bitter and exactly what I would expect it to taste like. You will experience the hoppy taste lingering in your mouth for quite a while after drinking it; a good reminder of a great beer! Adnams Bitter could be described as a "classic bitter" and a good consistent session ale. Price wise, we paid £2.00 for a pint at the Market Hotel Chesterfield. Prices vary from place to place and pub to pub. We sampled it as a guest ale so it may well be cheaper if you manage to find it in an Adnams tied Public House. We are going for a weekend in Suffolk later this year, so I will be on the lookout while I am there! * The Verdict Adnams is definitely a bitter to be recommended. It
is tasty, not too strong and is a refreshing drink. It would be just as good sampled on a hot summer's afternoon, or a cold winter's evening. Look out for it down at your Local - I really enjoyed it and I hope you will too! ~~~BREWERY INFORMATION Adnams Brewery, Sole Bay Brewery, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6JW Tel. 01502 727200 e-mail email@example.com http://www.adnams.co.uk/
ABV 3.7%. It's dry, yet strangely wet: refreshing, with a distinctive liiiiingering bitterness. Fragrant aromas of finest English hops and malt. Dry but refreshing, with a distinctive lingering hoppiness. Appetising and delicious. Adnams The Bitter is a top ten selling cask beer in the UK. The Bitter from Adnams is as distinctive as Southwold Jack (the knight with the sword) who appears on the pump clip and has gone through many incarnations.