Ordinary Bitter

This is a classic English ale style that likely originated in the county of Kent. It’s considered a “session beer” – meaning its alcohol content is lower, around 3-4% ABV, so you can have a few pints in one drinking session.

Color-wise, Ordinary Bitters are light amber to copper colored with good clarity. The malt flavor is biscuity, bready, nutty or mildly sweet.

English hops like Fuggles, Goldings, or Kent Goldings provide floral, earthy, herbal bitterness and aroma. The bitterness is enough to balance the malt rather than overwhelm it. The mouthfeel tends to be light to medium-bodied.

Overall, Ordinary Bitter is an easy-drinking, refreshing beer. The subtle malt-hop interplay is really satisfying.

Though falling out of favor with newer craft beers, Ordinary Bitter is still beloved in British pubs. It’s great with a ploughman’s lunch or fish and chips.

Here are 10 popular commercial examples of Ordinary Bitter:

  1. Fuller’s London Pride – Biscuity and nutty with moderate bitterness. The quintessential ordinary bitter at 4.1% ABV.
  2. Greene King IPA – Citrusy, lemon-lime hops complement the caramel malt. Mildly bitter at 3.6% ABV.
  3. Adnams Bitter – Straw-colored and refreshing with herbal, grassy hops. 3.7% ABV.
  4. Young’s Bitter – Bright orange color with a smooth, creamy texture and earthy hoppiness. 4.1% ABV.
  5. St. Austell Tribute – Cornish session ale with a light body and fruity hop aroma. 4.2% ABV.
  6. Timothy Taylor Landlord – More malt-forward with bready, biscuity flavor and moderate bitterness. 4.1% ABV.
  7. Moorhouse’s Blond Witch – Pale golden bitter with peppery, lemon citrus hop taste. 4.5% ABV.
  8. Brakspear Bitter – Rustic, amber-hued bitter with herbal hops and medium body. 3.4% ABV.
  9. Brains Bitter – Smooth, easy-drinking Welsh bitter with hints of caramel and nuts. 3.7% ABV.
  10. Wychwood Hobgoblin – A ruby red bitter with slight roasted malt flavor and woody hoppiness. 4.5% ABV.

Ever heard of Ordinary Bitter? If not, you’re in for a treat. This isn’t just another beer style; it’s a piece of brewing history.

Originating from England, Ordinary Bitter holds a special place in the hearts of beer lovers, especially those who appreciate a good, traditional ale. It’s like the comfort food of the beer world – not too flashy, but oh-so-satisfying.

The Basics of Ordinary Bitter

What’s in a Name?

So, what exactly is an Ordinary Bitter? Despite its name, it’s not about being overly bitter. Think of it more like the “everyday” beer for the British. It’s the kind of brew you’d casually sip at a pub while chatting with friends.

Ordinary Bitter is known for its balance and drinkability. It’s like the Goldilocks of beers – not too strong, not too weak, but just right.

The Secret Ingredients

Diving into what makes this beer tick, it’s all about simplicity and quality. The key ingredients? Malted barley, hops, yeast, and water.

But don’t let the short list fool you; it’s the quality of these ingredients and the care in brewing that makes Ordinary Bitter stand out. It’s like making a great cup of coffee – simple ingredients, but the result depends on how well you use them.

Brewing It Right

The brewing process for Ordinary Bitter is a tale as old as time. Well, maybe not that old, but it’s definitely steeped in tradition. It’s all about precision and patience.

The brewer’s aim is to achieve a perfect balance between the malt’s sweetness and the hops’ bitterness. Think of it as a tightrope walker balancing high above a crowd – it takes skill, focus, and a lot of practice.

How To Brew Ordinary Bitter

How to Brew Ordinary Bitter with Recipe

The Flavor Profile of Ordinary Bitter

A Symphony of Tastes

Now, let’s talk about what really matters – the taste. Ordinary Bitter is a masterclass in flavor harmony. It’s like a symphony where each note has its place.

The taste? A delightful mix of mild hop bitterness, a subtle fruity touch, and a gentle malt sweetness. It’s not about overwhelming your palate; it’s about savoring a well-rounded, nuanced experience.

The aroma follows suit, offering a whiff of earthy hops and a hint of caramel from the malt.

Comparing Apples to Oranges… Or Beers to Beers

If you’re wondering how Ordinary Bitter stacks up against other beers, think of it as the quieter, more contemplative sibling in the beer family. It’s less hoppy than an IPA, not as strong as a Stout, but more characterful than your average Lager.

Ordinary Bitter is like that unassuming friend who might not be the life of the party but always has the most interesting stories.

Perfect Pairings

Food pairing? Ordinary Bitter is incredibly versatile. It’s like the jeans-and-a-t-shirt combo in the world of beer and food. Try it with classic pub fare – think fish and chips or a hearty shepherd’s pie. Its balanced nature means it complements rather than competes with your meal.

Nutritional Information

The Numbers Game

Let’s get down to brass tacks – what’s in it, calorie-wise? Ordinary Bitter typically has a modest alcohol content, hovering around 3% to 4% ABV. It’s like the light jog of beers – enough to get you moving, but not a full-blown marathon.

Calorie-wise, it’s relatively light too, making it a sensible choice if you’re mindful about your intake.

Serving Size and Nutritional Values

A standard pint of Ordinary Bitter (about 473 ml) generally contains fewer calories than heavier beer styles.

So, you can enjoy a pint without the guilt trip that often comes with more indulgent choices. Remember, moderation is key – it’s like indulging in your favorite dessert, but in a portion-controlled way.

Drink Responsibly

As with any alcoholic beverage, the key is responsible enjoyment. Ordinary Bitter, with its lower alcohol content, makes it easier to stick to that mantra. It’s like having a treat without overindulging.

Production and Distribution

Who’s Brewing?

Ordinary Bitter is a proud staple for many UK breweries, but it’s not just confined to its homeland. With the rise of the craft beer movement, you’ll find breweries around the world giving their own twist to this classic style.

It’s like chefs around the world riffing on the classic burger – same concept, different interpretations.

A Global Footprint

While most popular in the UK, Ordinary Bitter has found fans across the globe. It’s a bit like a cult movie that slowly gains international acclaim.

However, its presence is more pronounced in places with a strong craft beer culture.

The Craft Beer Effect

Speaking of the craft beer movement, it has given Ordinary Bitter a new lease on life. This style, once overshadowed by more robust ales, is now enjoying a renaissance.

Think of it as the vinyl record of the beer world – there’s a growing appreciation for its classic, unadulterated charm.

Pros and Cons of Ordinary Bitter

The Bright Side

Let’s look at the sunny side first. Ordinary Bitter, with its balanced flavor, is the perfect entry point for those new to ales. It’s like the friendly neighbor who always makes you feel welcome.

For connoisseurs, the subtle complexities in its profile offer a delightful exploration. Plus, its lower alcohol content means you can enjoy a few pints without feeling over the top – it’s like enjoying a long, leisurely lunch without the need for a nap afterward.

The Flip Side

On the flip side, Ordinary Bitter might not hit the mark for everyone. If you’re all about bold, in-your-face flavors, this might seem a bit too tame. It’s like preferring a rock concert over a jazz lounge – both are great, but it depends on your taste.

Also, its availability can be a bit patchy outside the UK, making it a treasure hunt for enthusiasts in other parts of the world.

Consumer Reviews and Ratings

What’s the Word on the Web?

Curious about what others think of Ordinary Bitter? Well, the internet has spoken.

On major beer review sites, Ordinary Bitter often scores for its drinkability and classic flavor profile. It’s like that well-loved classic novel that never goes out of style – not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely a genre-defining piece.

The Voice of the People

Diving into consumer reviews, you’ll find a mix of nostalgia and appreciation. Long-time fans love it for its tradition and consistency, while newcomers often praise its easy-going nature.

It’s akin to visiting a beloved old café – it may not be fancy, but it’s comforting and familiar.

FAQs About Ordinary Bitter

What makes Ordinary Bitter different from other ales?

It’s all about balance and subtlety. Unlike stronger ales, Ordinary Bitter offers a more approachable taste with a moderate alcohol content.

Can I find Ordinary Bitter outside the UK?

Yes, but it might require a bit of searching. Craft breweries worldwide are starting to embrace this style.

Is Ordinary Bitter actually bitter?

Not overly so. The name can be misleading – it’s more about a balanced bitterness than an overpowering one.

What foods pair well with Ordinary Bitter?

Classic pub grub – think fish and chips or a hearty meat pie. Its balanced nature makes it a versatile companion.

How does Ordinary Bitter fit into the craft beer scene?

It’s like a classic genre in a modern library. Amidst bold new styles, Ordinary Bitter offers a taste of traditional brewing.

Is Ordinary Bitter suitable for casual drinkers?

Absolutely. Its easy-going nature makes it a great choice for those who prefer a lighter ale.

How should Ordinary Bitter be served?

Ideally, at cellar temperature – not too cold, to fully appreciate its flavors.

Can homebrewers make Ordinary Bitter?

Yes, it’s a great style for homebrewers due to its straightforward recipe and process.

What’s the alcohol content in Ordinary Bitter?

Generally, it ranges from 3% to 4% ABV, making it a lighter option.

How has the perception of Ordinary Bitter changed over time?

It’s seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks to the craft beer movement valuing traditional styles.


Wrapping It Up

So, what have we learned about Ordinary Bitter? It’s more than just a beer; it’s a slice of history, a nod to tradition, and a testament to the art of balance in brewing.

Ordinary Bitter might not be the flashiest player in the beer world, but it holds its ground with subtle sophistication and quiet confidence. It’s the kind of beer that reminds us that sometimes, the simple things in life can be the most rewarding.

Looking Ahead

The future of Ordinary Bitter seems as steady as its past. As the craft beer scene continues to evolve, embracing both bold innovations and revered classics, Ordinary Bitter remains a cherished staple.

It’s like an old song that never gets old – always there to bring a sense of comfort and nostalgia.

For the Beer Enthusiasts

If you haven’t tried Ordinary Bitter yet, consider giving it a shot. Whether you’re a seasoned beer aficionado or just curious about different styles, Ordinary Bitter offers a unique experience.

It’s an invitation to slow down, savor the moment, and appreciate the finer, subtler aspects of life – one sip at a time.