Fortunately, BotF had been up to the Balgowlah Porters and picked up a couple of British Beers that were later found to be relatively low in alcohol.
First cab off the rank was “Landlord Strong Pale Ale” – brewed by Timothy Taylor, a brewer from the town of Keighley in Yorkshire, England. In most countries, “Strong” used as an adjective to describe a beer refers to the alcoholic strength. At a 4.1% strength – Landlord doesn’t qualify – but on a flavour basis, this beer makes the grade easily. Even out of the bottle, it has a taste that is very similar to an English Bitter out of the tap. Long lasting bitter taste really hits the spot.
The second beer was an even weaker drop – alcohol wise (3.4%), which is close to a mid-strength in Australia. Brakspear Bitter is the signature beer from Brakspear, a brewer from Oxfordshire. Brakspear goes on at great length about how it makes this Bitter, with Double Dropping fermentation. Primarily a tap beer, but it has recently been produced in bottles and cans. The Poms reckon it is a great “session beer” and actually talk up the 3.4% alcohol strength. It is distinctively flavoured – more so than an Australian mid-strength. I found it a little thin, and the Timothy Taylor was the better of the two.
I think the real test would be in an English Bar having a pint of each to compare.