A brief googling of “beer and women” turns up a dark parade of lager and misogyny. It’s hard to separate the two. Even with the new shiny-retro Stella ads aimed at women, it’s enough to turn a girl off the style.
I don’t expect much from a good lager and to be honest, they don’t expect much of me, either. They’re like that friend you have that doesn’t mind a bit of dumb fun while crawling around the mall or dancing to 80s music. But the trick is to find someone who’ll do those things but not annoy you. They’re rare.
Munich is the place to find such companionship in a beer garden, in a brewery canteen. But what if you’re not in Munich? What if you’re in London?
The Bunker brewpub in Covent Garden used to brew a perfectly fun lager but then they changed the recipe, labeling it as Freedom lager and it just wasn’t that good anymore, and now they are no longer. Though you can still get Freedom lager around, it’s a bit like seeing that friend that used to be fun but then adopted some seriously green middle class lifestyle and lost their sense of humor in the process.
And then there’s shiny Meantime Helles and Pils– both totally drinkable yet I don’t choose to drink them very often because usually wherever you find these beers there’s a wider selection of something that’s just more enticing.
Brodies, an East London brewery that’s brewing some really compelling beers, does a London Lager but I’ve never had it. They have a brewery tap, King William the IV in Leyton, which seems worth a field trip!
Last night we met some friends at the Regent in Islington, which has the best pizzas in London but the beer selection is a bit lackluster. Chalkboards around the shabby-chic interior proclaimed a new Cotswold Lager on tap. I was a bit wary but by the time I had my second half I was won over completely. This beer was easy to drink and went down well with the pizzas. The sweet malt character gave it just enough backbone to not be boring, but it was dry enough not be annoying.
That is, I wasn’t annoyed until I read the Cotswold Brewery website’s description of the beer, a complete throwback cliche describing the beer as if it were a woman being offered up for sexual consumption: “If you think lager doesn’t taste of much then it’s time you pressed your lips up against a pint of Premium. She’s a full flavoured seductress who will soon have you head-over-heals with her crisp, dry taste and flirtatious bitter kick. It’s love at first sip.”
Read on with mild horror the description of their Dark Lager: “This one is a dark little number who can really pack a punch. She’s bursting with flavour and lashings of taste, yet retains a smooth finish that will warm even the most frozen of your cockles. She is normally only available during the winter but has proved to be a popular little number so we have kept her on for the summer.”
The wording of the description is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin. Their lager really deserves a better public face. It’s another example of a good British brewery in dire need of a marketing makeover.