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    Saturday, 15 September 2007

    Utopia - Birmingham

    Whilst sat in The Wellington I perused my Good Beer Guide and noticed a pub which I believe has never been in the guide before, and lo and behold, it was within a couple of minutes walk.

    The guide states that Utopia sells Hooky Bitter, Taylor Landlord and a local guest beer. OK thought I, that's good enough for me, and it's a new pub for me to boot. Like The Wellington the pub can easily be missed from the outside. I say "pub", but actually this is better described as a bar. It's all chrome and light furnishings, and doesn't look like a real ale drinkers haunt at all. I noticed immediately that the promised guest beer was missing in action, so I ordered a half of Hooky Bitter instead. This is a classic light English bitter at 3.4%, so I was more than a little taken aback to be charged £1.45. Holding the glass, I was put in mind of wearing a glove. The glass was very warm, presumably being recently removed from the glass washer. I sat down in a light beige coloured leather sofa - it farted like a Reggie Perrin joke - but at least was comfy.

    The beer was poor. There was a medicinal taste, none of the light citrus hops and balancing malt I know this beer should deliver. I'm not one to complain in person, and I'm not sure the staff would know what beer should taste like anyway. I drank it pretty quickly and left, never to return.

    I fail to have any comprehension why this place is in the Good Beer Guide. I'm all for a bit of diversity. I don't just want good honest boozers. If smarter upmarket pubs serve good beer then they deserve a place, but this pub was just corny inside, the prices were a disgrace and the beer quality was shocking. I smell a rat.

    Save yourself the short walk, stay in The Welly for a little longer.

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