Friday, 31 July 2009

Lager boomers (part two)

Now it's time for the lagers from the emerging national brewers. At least I recognise most of the names. They adorned the garish fonts I ignored in my beer drinking youth.

That reminds me of something. I'm pretty sure I've never tasted Carling Black Label. Nor British-brewed Skol. Nor McEwan's Lager. Not even Tennent's. What a sheltered life I've led. I may have missed out on an unforgetable taste sensation that could have transformed my life. But I doubt it.

At least most of these were bottom-fermented. I think. Barclay Perkins and Red Tower were, for certain. Tennents probably was, too. Carling, Skol and McEwan's likewise. Tennants might actually be a mistake and mean Tennents. So proper Lagers, in one sense at least.

Like I said, these are the beers that were relentlessly pushed during my youth and early adulthood. Yet how many remain? Black Label, Tennent's and McEwan's. The rest are down in hell with Watney's.

OK, time to look at the beers. Sorry, the Lagers.

These are on average a bit weaker than the regional breweries' Lagers. Most have gravities similar to a Mild of the period. Though the high degree of attenuation makes the ABV higher than for most Milds.

I'm not quite finished yet. I haven't covered the imported Lagers yet. What a fascinating tale they have to tell. But you'll have to wait until later to hear it.


Chap said...

Perhaps one of the reasons that Tennent's survived is that the taste in the 1960s and 1970s wasn't that bad compared with Skol and the like. Or was it the Lager Lovelies ( The Housewives' Choice series, published with beer-related recipes, anticipated Garrett Oliver by 40 years.

Matt said...

I was born in 1970 so just about remember the peak of the British lager boom in the late 70's. I think there were a number of factors that drove it: the overarching trend from dark to pale beers, the heatwave summers of the time, massive marketing, the rise of mass tourism to southern Europe and the generation gap between older and younger drinkers.

All my older relatives drank Skol and Black Label in the late 70's. I know they're still available canned in supermarlets and off licences but I can't remember the last ime I saw them on draught in a pub.

Does anyone else remember Kaliber alcohol free lager?

Son of Ron said...

Sorry that I am not able to answer any questions because, Ron is in Germany. He is comes back on monday.

Mike said...

I remember Kaliber, once you had had one there was no forgetting the horrible after taste.
Skol and Black Label did dominate during the '70's along with the kegged Watney's Red Barrel and Whitbread Tankard.
I remember "beer" being delivered to a pub in a road tanker during the 70's.