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    Tuesday, 25 November 2008

    Castle Rock Beer Of The Year

    I've mentioned on here a few times that I am a fan of the Castle Rock chain of pubs, which were previously called Tynemill. They have an excellent commitment to real ale and are comfortable drinking pubs.

    I was somewhat surprised therefore to read that its customers had voted Batemans XXXB as this year's beer of the year.

    XXXB isn't a bad beer but it's hardly Earth shattering. The chain sells much better beers on a regular basis, notwithstanding its own beers such as Harvest Pale and Black Gold which are both very good. Thornbridge beers are regularly seen through the pumps; Jaipur would have been a much worthier winner in my opinion.

    Perhaps Castle Rock's customers aren't as discerning as I imagined, or perhaps it's me.


    Mr Johnson said...

    I agree completely that most of Castle Rock's beers are better than XXXB. In fact, I don't really care for Bateman's beers generally. However, they must have some sort of agreement with Castle Rock as most of their pubs seem to have Bateman's beers on most of the time and they seem to be well promoted. It is disappointing, but then the average pub goer or even cask beer drinker probably has fairly pedestrian tastes.

    Tyson said...

    Yes I'm a fan of Castle Rock and their pubs-I was in the Rook & Gaskill last weekend. Bit snobby to dismiss XXXB, although I agree that Castle Rock are much better IMO.

    However, in a chain that offers such choice, any beer that wins support from the customers must have something going for it.

    haddonsman said...

    Core Castle Rock beers are excluded form the competition to eliminate suggestions of bias. Batemans's is a popular choice in many CR pubs as those pubs are either ex-Batemans or run in partnership with them.

    Jaipur came a worthy second and Acorn Barnsley Bitter third.

    XXXB isn't earth-shattering, but it is IMO a solid, drinkable bitter.