I’m partial to the odd Pure Brewed Lager from Samuel Smith – but as I’m still doing a one-man boycott, the Tadcaster bullies’ beers are off limits. Apart from that, I’ve never really got on with British lager, even the ‘craft’ stuff. I don’t even get on with Meantime Helles. If I want something golden and fizzy to go with a Thai meal i’ll grab a few Zywiec from the shop next door.
Hang on though, what’s this? West St Mungo in our local Waitrose. Oh yes. I’ve read about these. Glaswegian, but run by folk from Buttenheim in dear old Bayern. They brew to the Rheinheitsgebot, which as I know from my German days may be a good indicator of purity but not of flavour (Paulaner – i’m looking at you).
So what’s it like? Gassy, woody nose and very nearly the colour of another Scot; Irn Bru. The head fades away in seconds. Taste is clean and bready with a bitter finish that clings. The natural carbonation is a bit sharp for me, and there’s a flavour that I can’t quite place which doesn’t quite appeal. By bedtime I still had a quarter glass undrunk and warm. Never a good sign. Decent stuff, but not my Great British Lager. That I actually prefer a Heineken-owned Polish macrobrew to this probably says a lot about my tasting ‘skills’. Zywiec is six for a fiver from our local offy. Cooking Lager would be proud.