I went into The Coach & Horses in Wellingborough today. This is an excellent pub with eight real ales all in lovely condition, and, following on from yesterday's theme, has a wonderful log fire.
I was surprised to see, alongside local beers from Great Oakley and other more commonly found guest beers, two blasts from the past. These were Ansells Bitter and Ind Coope Burton Ale. Both of these are produced in much smaller quantities now they are brewed at the Carlsberg Tetley plant in Leeds than they used to be when brewed at either Birmingham or Burton. Indeed Burton Ale was very easy to find following its victory in the Champion Beer Of Britain competition in 1990. It was described around that time by Roger Protz as "one of the most succulent beers known to personkind".
I couldn't resist trying these two beers, to see if I could recall any memories from when I previously tried them so many years ago.
The Ansells has a sulphuric Burton type note to it and had friendly easy drinking bitterness. None of your modern American hops in this. It was fairly thin, but drinkable if you don't mind the sulphur. It would certainly appeal to ordinary bitter drinkers. I couldn't recall however, my experiences of drinking this previously.
Ind Coope Burton Ale also was sulphuric and had some nice hoppy flavours. I did recall the fruitiness of yesteryear but found his far more restrained now. It had a lot of the same qualities as the Ansells but more fruit and more alcohol.
I enjoyed both beers; they are drinkable and approachable. The sulphur was not off-putting like I found it to be in Marstons Pedigree when I last had it. They were fun beers to drink.
I should add that I had some Great Oakley Delapre Dark straight after. This knoked the socks off either of the other two, but that's a progressive micro for you!