The Wickingman is convinced that Bass is about to become the drink of 2020. Mind you, he’s been saying that since around 1985 so I guess the odds of it happening must be shortening.
But, and this is a big but, just like the Indie charts in the mid eighties, sometimes the more niche a band/beer, the better it is.
To be frank, most of the best Bass I drink, which is still the best beer on the market when kept properly with good turnover, is in pubs that aren’t trying to appeal to the mass market.
If it became as ubiquitous as say, Doom Bar, would that mean its quality would drop accordingly?
Anyway, all of this is conjecture as I suspect Bass will keep on being under the radar as InBev won’t want to spend any dough on a product they’ve ignored for years.
This question did cross my mind as I had a lunchtime pint in 517 – The Five Lamps DE1 3BH. It’s on the Duffield Road on the route out of Derby city centre and often features on ale trails.
It’s a proper pub, that serves food and has a cracking range of clientele. I saw blokes on a liquid lunch break, ladies drinking wine, old boys and a cosmopolitan group speaking French and English in equal measures but partaking in plenty of booze.
So, a good atmosphere and the bar staff were friendly and welcoming so what could possibly go wrong as I eyed up the double figure choice of beers on the bar?
I ordered a pint of Bass but I thought it was avenge and possibly on the turn, which happens with all cask ales.
Rather than feed a plant pot I took it back to the helpful chatty barman and he had a smell and said he’d go and check it.
He came back up and said it’d absolutely fine….there was a bit of an impasse and I said I didn’t think it was great but perhaps it would taste better the more I drank.
It is clearly a popular pub with a good mix of punters and the barman was friendly but I’m not sure I agreed with him on this.
If a punter says their pint isn’t great then rather than convince them it is and not change it, I think they should offer them another one….even if he was polite, pleasant and got on well with the regulars.
I’ve drunk enough Bass to know when it’s good and when it’s average…this was the latter.
(view from the car park)
Which is a shame as it’s a pub I would go back to and have a drink but I wouldn’t drink Bass in there again and maybe a dozen hand pumps is too much even for a boozer on the outskirts of the city centre.