This week I was pleased to see a beer article in the esteemed New York Times. The NYT wine writer/guru Eric Asimov wrote a rather well written expose on Bitter. Bitter is a British term for their 'ordinary' beer. This is not high alcohol, high hop, or even high flavor beer. These are session beers that can be consumed in the midst of conversation. Full of flavor but balanced, these are not extravagant beers, but beers to drink by the pool on a hot Texas day. As with wine, when summer comes we may start to turn away from the big bold beers (or deep dark red's) and turn to more gentle fare such as a bitter (or white or rose wine). One can not live by Extreme beer alone.
The article is a good summation of what is a bitter (even going so far as to take the reader briefly through the difference between cask bitter and bottled).
The rest of the article was the rating of the 25 bitters the panel tasted. The panel consisted of Mr. Asimov, Florence Fabricant, owner of Bierkraft Richard Scholz and Alex Hall who runs the website gotham-imbiber.com. Unfortunately for you and I we can't get all of their top 10 here in Houston. The good news we can partake in their top rated Bitter: Left Hand Sawtooth Ale that's available at Spec's, Central Market, and Whole Foods. Other beers that we can get our hands on in the area include: Fuller’s London Pride (#3), Black Sheep Ale (#4), Fuller's ESB(#5), Morland Old Speckled Hen (#6) Greene King Abbot Ale (#7),.
Good info to have when you're looking for a good tasty beer on a hot Texas day.