English Bitter Beer

In this beer review I take a closer look at 5 English Bitter Beers. The term Bitter is an English term which dates back to the early 19th century when referring to pale ale. The term Bitter Beer  covers  a large range of beer ranging from golden summer ales to deep copper Ale. Bitter beer while normally dark can also be golden in color and the strength varies from 3% ABV to 7%.

So without further delay lets take a look at the first Bitter Beer, Old Speckled Hen.


1. Morland Old Speckled Hen

Old Speckled Hen

Old Speckled Hen  is a mainstay of English Bitter. This Beer is very popular in the UK and available pretty much everywhere. Historically the beer was brewed by Morland up to 1999 before being taken over by Greene King Brewery. I purchased the beer in cans which isn’t ideal as it is much better on tap. Beer pours a very appealing deep copper colour. First impressions of the beer weren’t great, the smell was quite strong alcohol and the initial taste was metallic (this could be to do with the can). However after the first couple of mouthfuls the taste grew on me and I found myself drinking this very easily despite being quite a strong beer. Overall a tasty and decent session bitter beer.

Rating 7/10


2. Boddingtons Bitter


I had high hopes for the Boddingtons Draught Bitter. In Manchester (UK) it has enjoyed a reputation as being a good bitter. Up until 2004 it was brewed at the Strangeways Brewery before being bought out by brewing giant AB InBev and being brewed by Hydes Brewery. This change of ownership probably has a lot to do why the Boddingtons Bitter today is so very different to the Boddingtons of the past.

About the Beer.....Boddingtons Draught is a 440ml can of pure blandness. First impression is that there is absolutely nothing at all to report on the aroma front, first mouthful is almost soapy with no taste to report. Even the texture of the beer is unusual, it is far too creamy for my taste. This combined with the complete lack of flavor it is like drinking foamy water.

The first beer was so bad I had to have another just to make sure it wasn't a bad can, but the second can confirmed my worst opinion. I didn't enjoy this beer at all

Rating 3/10


3. Fuller's London Pride

London Pride

Fullers London Pride is another very popular Bitter (or Pale Ale) in England.  Beer pours a very nice bright copper color with a large frothy head. The aroma is prominent, toasted malt and caramel.  The taste of the beer is prominently malt and caramel but with a good kick of spicy hops which balances out the sweetness of the malt perfectly. This is an excellent bitter and as it is very easy drinking makes a great session beer.

Rating 8/10

4. Black Sheep Ale

Black Sheep Ale

Black Sheep Ale is brewed by Black Sheep Brewery. Beer pours a copper brown color and the taste is prominently malt and slightly caramel with a dry finish. The beer is dry and smooth in the mouth with a decent body. The aftertaste is earthy with hints of fruit. For me the Black Sheep Ale doesn't have quite the same character as the London Pride but nevertheless it is a decent session bitte.

Rating 7/10

5. Ringwood Fortyniner

Ringwood Fortyniner  is named after the 1849 gold-rush and is brewed by the Ringwood Brewery who have brewed it since 1978. The beer pours a golden/copper color with a good foamy head. Smell is malty with some fruit hints. The taste of the beer is prominent malt with some spice kicking in from the hops. Beer has a very nice dry aftertaste. A good Bitter.

Rating 7/10

Ringwood 49

That concludes this Beer Review of 5 English Bitters. Thanks for reading.