Are You Tasting the Pith? - 26th June 05
It's difficult to be grumpy about anything that brings a greater diversity to the bottled beer market. Sainsbury's sponsorship of the International Beer Competition this year resulted in a truly superb array of beers being offered on their shelves for a little while, and then a glorious period where they were knocking them out at 30% off, presumably because the Great British public were uninterested in the aforementioned truly superb array of beers being [etc etc]
We should then, in theory, applaud the all-consuming colossus InBev, who are responsible for purchasing all manner of continental brands and bringing them to the UK, some of them even being actual imports rather than UK-brewed copies. We should applaud the introduction of continental drinking practices, smaller measures of better beer served in fancy glassware
Except of course, it never quite works like that. While Artois Bock (6.2% abv) could have been an interesting counterpoint to its Stella[r] sibling, a stepping stone from generic lager to something a bit more interesting, it isn't. Sadly, it tastes as though it's been brewed with too much of an eye on the mass market, with all the sappy, milky sweetness taken out. So: a coppery-blonde lager, with hints of slight malty sweetness, some caramel, and a dry finish.
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