Here at Beer Busters, we bring you news and reviews of some wonderful brews. So far, we’ve taken care of domestic craft brews. What about the mysterious world of foreign beers? That’s where this series comes in.
Today we begin with a beer from our pals across the pond in the UK. Boddingtons Pub Ale has been brewed for over 20 years, adding to a line of beers from the 18th century. First, a history of Boddingtons.
In 1778 a company called Strangeways Brewery was founded by Thomas Caister and Thomas Fry in Manchester, UK. For years they served as the main libation for the mill workers of Manchester.
A man named Henry Boddington joined the brewery in 1832 as a repairman and by 1848 had become a full partner. In a short five years he became the sole proprietor. By 1877 the brewery was outputting 100,000 barrels a year, making it one of the largest breweries in England.
Over the years Boddington’s family continued to operate the brewery. They went public in 1888, installed a bottling hall in the 1920s, but by the 1930s saw a decline in the family’s shareholding. In 1940 the brewery was hit by a bomb during the Manchester Blitz and moved while a new and improved location was being built. This new location was the first in Europe to use stainless steel vats for their production.
In 1969 they turned down an offer to be bought out – the first independent brewery to decline such an offer. Their argument was that the deal would do nothing to improve the national economy or the quality of life for the people and therefore had no reason to happen.
To make a long story short (too late, I know), there were more acquisitions made to increase production, and at one point their international distribution was upwards of 40 countries and production was as high as 850,000 barrels a year. In 2000 Interbrew acquired the company, and in 2010 Boddingtons was the sixth-highest selling bitter in the UK. Today, Boddingtons is owned by InBev, a beer conglomerate that owns several beer brands of…ahem…varying quality. This Pub Ale, however, remains true to its roots.
And now what you’ve all been waiting for (and me too, since that means I get to finally drink this beer)…
First off, Boddingtons comes in a giant yellow pint can, making it noticeable in the mix of other brews on the shelf. When you open the can have a pint glass handy. It uses a technology they call the DRAUGHTFLOW SYSTEM, which is really one of those plastic things used to help the beer pour as if it were straight from the tap.
As you pour it into the glass, you’ll notice a very thick head that settles over a golden ale. The head, however, doesn’t look like head from any other beer. It’s much creamier and more inviting. Then you take a sip, and that’s when it hits – they’ve really put the perfect description of this beer right there on the can! “Smooth and creamy.” (Someone else that uses the word “smooth!”) It leaves you with a slight bitterness, and the head makes you realize you want more.
In the process of drinking Boddingtons, you will experience a wide range of emotions: happiness, anxiousness, arousal, confusion, and sadness once you are finished with the pint. It’s when you realize that over 200 years of experience brewing come to a culmination in every pint of this fantastic beverage.