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Carling - the worst beer of them all?
Member Name: tenkilos
Disadvantages: taste, smell, branding, only canned availability
Carling lager is a rather peculiar phenomenon on the British beer scene. It is without doubt one of the most popular brands of lager on the market with me yet to see a pub without an appropriately titled tap or a shop which does not have mountains of the stuff on sale. The reasons for this apparent popularity baffle me as the taste is bland, unnatural and faintly metallic.
Despite the "Extra Cold" branding attempts by Carling in recent years, it seems to be perpetually served warm and flat by pubs up and down the country and the single point of appeal is its price - the lowest you'll see in any drinking establishment. Given the significantly cheaper price of tap water and a much more pleasant & refreshing taste, it is still surprising that people are prepared to pay £2.50 a pint given the relatively small extra outlay for much better brands.
In the shop, you can only typically find Carling sold in cans, mostly down to the cheap brand image. Numerous promotions typically make buying a large crate of the stuff fairly appealing from the pricing point of view. Until you remember what it's going to taste, that is, and put down your 24-pack of Carling to replace it with one of the many other available beer types.
Having said all of the above, I do have friends, who when given the choice of a number of premium & mid-level brands in a pub will opt for Carling regardless and without any consideration of the price. While these people exist, the brand will live on despite no effort to take the lager into the 21st century.
Summary: Want a stale flat beer which smells of metal and tastes of the gutter? Get a Carling!
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