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Frank Hovis

Weak Beer

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I'm a real convert to this, drinking Sainsbury's basics bitter at 2.1% for the astonishing price of £1.05 for four cans, which beats my homebrew prices!

I don't know whether it's that they have improved the brew or my tastes have changed, either way I find it as good as most normal strength beers, albeit nowhere near the really good ones but then nor are most beers.

As it's the beer that I like rather than the alcohol this may be a permanent switch, so are there any other basics beers that people can recommend?

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2.1% and it tastes of beer??? Interesting!

FWIW, I think the best-tasting beers have come down from the 5% to the 4% ballpark, with some at around 3.6% tasting fully mainstream and pretty decent. But 2.1 sounds like another quantum leap.

I recollect some weak stuff from Tesco from the days when it's all I could afford (note: not the days when I was really poor and on survival rations - rather the intermediate time). There was a true p***water at about 80p for a four-pack, but also a much more acceptable brew at just a little more.

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Yes I switched to Morrisons Savers bitter and lager, both very drinkable, 2% abv and only 89p for 4x440ml. Too cheap to meter.

The cost of a can of beer is all about tax, duty is not charged proportionally to alcohol content which seems a bit odd but there you go. A can of 5% beer is about 46p duty whereas a can of 2% beer is only 7p duty!

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I've noticed that one consequence of discovering these beers is that when I can drink a decent beer at home for 22p I resent paying 20-fold more for £4 a pint in a pub even more.

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Yes I switched to Morrisons Savers bitter and lager, both very drinkable, 2% abv and only 89p for 4x440ml. Too cheap to meter.

The cost of a can of beer is all about tax, duty is not charged proportionally to alcohol content which seems a bit odd but there you go. A can of 5% beer is about 46p duty whereas a can of 2% beer is only 7p duty!

That's because there's a duty break at 2.8% and below (pays half duty)

Then it's normal rates up to (I think) 7.2% where it's double duty

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2.1% and it tastes of beer??? Interesting!

FWIW, I think the best-tasting beers have come down from the 5% to the 4% ballpark, with some at around 3.6% tasting fully mainstream and pretty decent. But 2.1 sounds like another quantum leap.

I recollect some weak stuff from Tesco from the days when it's all I could afford (note: not the days when I was really poor and on survival rations - rather the intermediate time). There was a true p***water at about 80p for a four-pack, but also a much more acceptable brew at just a little more.

Yes I switched to Morrisons Savers bitter and lager, both very drinkable, 2% abv and only 89p for 4x440ml. Too cheap to meter.

The cost of a can of beer is all about tax, duty is not charged proportionally to alcohol content which seems a bit odd but there you go. A can of 5% beer is about 46p duty whereas a can of 2% beer is only 7p duty!

I've noticed that one consequence of discovering these beers is that when I can drink a decent beer at home for 22p I resent paying 20-fold more for £4 a pint in a pub even more.

It surprised me. I have tried the weak beers before regularly, though not for a good ten years, purely because of economy. All the supermarket ones plus Lidl had in addition to their standard bitters and lagers a weak c. 2% version of each. The lager one was just about drinkable but very watery but the bitter one was awful and they soon discontinued it. I didn't actually enjoy drinking any of them, which is rather the point of it!

I was buying in for Christmas and thought I'd give it another try as whilst I want to have a lot to drink I have no desire to get drunk / hungover (the two are no longer synonymous in my mind!).

As it is I tried it early and it was decent. Not the best, not as nice as a decent 4% beer, but very drinkable. As I say I don't know whether they've improved the recipe or my tastes have changed; but it's nice.

Interesting, a bit more beer I can keep drinking for ages without getting wasted and doesn't taste awful would be very welcome.

Yes, for my taste at least they have cracked it. I enjoy sitting down drinking beer greatly, but I'm not trying to get drunk and that's always a risk with 4% beers.

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That's because there's a duty break at 2.8% and below (pays half duty)

Then it's normal rates up to (I think) 7.2% where it's double duty

Was that last year that they brought that in? I haven't seen many 2.8% though you'd think they'd go up to the limit.

Lidl's Hatherwood is 3.6%; it used to be 4.5% but they stepped it down, I got used to the change so surely they can bring out a 2.8% version at a much-reduced price before Aldi do.

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My tastes have changed as I've aged, and now weaker is better. 3.6-4.5% is my perfect range.

When I brewed my own that was always what I aimed for, mostly with a high degree of success. There was one comedy "On the Buses" event, supposed to be a golden summer brew which came out at about 9% and flattened everybody.

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Marks & Spencer do an own-label weak bitter, less than 3%, forget what it's called. It's actually brewed by Adnams and is perfectly acceptable.

That sounds ideal, I do like Adnams. Now to find teh food M&S near where I work, I know taht there is one because people go to it..

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My tastes have changed as I've aged, and now weaker is better. 3.6-4.5% is my perfect range.

When I brewed my own that was always what I aimed for, mostly with a high degree of success. There was one comedy "On the Buses" event, supposed to be a golden summer brew which came out at about 9% and flattened everybody.

I saw that fairly recently; I liked that the book he was using (picture of the author with a moustache on the cover) was the identical book that I had recently had to throw away because it had fallen apart with age; Stan's of course was brand new.

Although I winced when they drank it straight after the primary ferment; how sweet was that?

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Had this discussion last night. At the curry asked a mate what beers he had in for Christmas. He said he had Lidl lager and it tastes fine. I told him not to pull out all the stops for christmas.

I quite like the light beers/lagers from 3 to 4%.

I used to be a bit of a lager snob and only drink bottles, but recently I've found that the Calsberg 4 pack of cans from the local co-op (3.8%) is perfectly acceptable when chilled, especially in summer when you get in from a run and are a bit dehydrated. Plus it is a lot cheaper that the 4 pack of corona I used to drink.

The dark side stout I got in for Xmas is about 4.2% I think.

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Lidl sold Manns Brown Ale a year or two ago (though it might have been one of their specials) 2.8% from memory and tasted very much like a typical brown ale.

The recent trend towards hoppy beers could be good opportunity to brew a heavily hopped but weak beer, it might taste like a 5% IPA or APA but it's half the strength. In the run up to Christmas I have had a few ~3.6% pale ales that were very drinkable, so a <3% one should be doable

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That sounds ideal, I do like Adnams. Now to find teh food M&S near where I work, I know taht there is one because people go to it..

I have stood before Southwold Jack! One of the few occasions I have ventured into a church.

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Carling did launch a C2 2% lager but I'm not sure if it is still going.

I used to be a bit of a lager snob and only drink bottles, but recently I've found that the Calsberg 4 pack of cans from the local co-op (3.8%) is perfectly acceptable when chilled

Probably because most pubs don't keep their lagers/beers properly and/or don't clean their lines. There's a pool club near me and the Carling extra cold there tastes great.

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Lidl sold Manns Brown Ale a year or two ago (though it might have been one of their specials) 2.8% from memory and tasted very much like a typical brown ale.

The recent trend towards hoppy beers could be good opportunity to brew a heavily hopped but weak beer, it might taste like a 5% IPA or APA but it's half the strength. In the run up to Christmas I have had a few ~3.6% pale ales that were very drinkable, so a <3% one should be doable

Beat me to it.

Beers that are high in terms of alcohol don't necessarily taste 'strong' while heavily hopped lower alcohol bitters can have a very marked hit on the palate. I always tend to go for strongly hopped bitter in the 4 to 4.5% range myself but I dont see any reason why one could not be brewed at between 3 and 3.5 %

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Very wise to start the morning off with weak beer. I commend your restraint :P

short or small beer used to be the staple of every schoolboy's breakfast... before school milk was introduced.

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I saw that fairly recently; I liked that the book he was using (picture of the author with a moustache on the cover) was the identical book that I had recently had to throw away because it had fallen apart with age; Stan's of course was brand new.

Although I winced when they drank it straight after the primary ferment; how sweet was that?

I don't think I've seen it since I was about 6 years old, but it stuck in my memory all this time. I guess anyone who has ever brewed has some recollection of it :)

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short or small beer used to be the staple of every schoolboy's breakfast... before school milk was introduced.

Aye, that's correct. The father of a friend had beer for breafast at his boarding school. It seems un-PCnow. :blink:

Some of these weaker beers are very good. Brownale or mild was never very strong.

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Bitter used to be around 3% when people would use it as a thirst quencher after a hard days work.

That would be fine with me, as if you are going to be in the pub for about 4 hours, 4, 5 and 6% ales are not good.

These days after about 4 pints I tend to go on to soft drinks, even doing that it takes me about a day to recover!!

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That sounds ideal, I do like Adnams. Now to find teh food M&S near where I work, I know taht there is one because people go to it..

It's this one, Southwold Low Alcohol Beer, 2.7%. My local M&S doesn't have it, have to go to the large one in the next town (where they sell it by the bottle rather than online by the case):

http://www.marksandspencer.com/southwold-low-alcohol-beer-20-bottles-/p/p60051485

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Morrison's do Mann's Brown ale for £1 a pop and Lidl do some decent ales for 90p a go.

I cant say that I'm a massive fan though. Weak beer means that you can drink more, which means you normally do. I'd rather have slightly less better beer than a vast amount of kak.

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Morrison's do Mann's Brown ale for £1 a pop and Lidl do some decent ales for 90p a go.

I cant say that I'm a massive fan though. Weak beer means that you can drink more, which means you normally do. I'd rather have slightly less better beer than a vast amount of kak.

The low limit for me is about 3.5%. Anything less is a beer flavoured soft drink. :blink:

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