The lightest of the bitters. Also known as just “bitter.” Some modern variants are brewed exclusively with pale malt and are known as golden or summer bitters. Most bottled or kegged versions of UK-produced bitters are higher-alcohol versions of their cask (draught) products produced specifically for export. Low gravity, low alcohol levels and low carbonation make this an easy-drinking beer. Some examples can be more malt balanced, but this should not override the overall bitter impression. Drinkability is a critical component of the style; emphasis is still on the bittering hop addition as opposed to the aggressive middle and late hopping seen in American ales.
Aroma: The best examples have some malt aroma, often (but not always) with a caramel quality. Mild to moderate fruitiness
is common. Hop aroma can range from moderate to none (UK varieties typically, although US varieties may be used).
Appearance: Light yellow to light copper. Good to brilliant clarity. Low to moderate white to off-white head. May have
very little head due to low carbonation.
Flavor: Medium to high bitterness. Most have moderately low to moderately high fruity esters. Moderate to low hop flavor
(earthy, resiny, and/or floral UK varieties typically, although US varieties may be used). Low to medium maltiness with a
dry finish. Caramel flavors are common but not required. Balance is often decidedly bitter, although the bitterness should
not completely overpower the malt flavor, esters and hop flavor.
Fuller’s Chiswick Bitter, Adnams Bitter, Young’s Bitter, Greene King IPA, Oakham Jeffrey Hudson Bitter (JHB), Brains Bitter, Tetley’s Original Bitter, Brakspear Bitter, Boddington’s Pub Draught
What The Beersluts have to say:
Everybody knows Boddington’s but that is the canned variety. We’d love to try the fresh version.