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Nov 15, 2007 08:55 AM

Bass Ale

Just finished reading the Stella thread - man, folks are passionate about their beer! My beer refrig has always been full of Bass Ale. Just wondering what the perception of Bass is these days...

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  1. This was my nuimber 1 beer back in the 90's. Haven't had one in years though - the last time I had one I thought it was just sweet, amber colored swill - not the Bass I remembered.

    6 Replies
    1. re: LStaff

      I haven't really noticed a difference over the years. OTOH I haven't been specifically looking for one and I don't order it very often (its really no higher than a fallback option if a bar has absolutely nothing that I like more in that I don't mind it, but don't really like it either)

      1. re: LStaff

        My palate has changed or their recipe has, because it has gone from good to bad over my drinking years.

        1. re: bigchow

          I can't vouch for their recipe, but ownership changed to InBev in 2000. Bass was then brewed under license by Coors (still made in Burton on Trent thought). I read recently that it is being brewed by Marston's (also in Burton on Trent). To make matters worse, the former Museum of Brewing in Burton has been renamed to "The Coors Visitor Centre".

          1. re: hash_slinger

            Also, years ago Bass abandoned its Burton unions, changing the flavor of the beer. Marston's still uses unions to some extent, I believe.

            What are the unions? See, for example:

            1. re: hash_slinger

              That time frame could be why I didn't detect much of a difference. I don't really remember drinking Bass until around 99-2000. I might have had a little before that, but if so, not much.

              1. re: hash_slinger

                Bass Ale's downfall began long before the InBev/Coors deal, in which IIRC "Bass Brewers" got out of the business, InBev bought their brands but was forced to sell some brands and some breweries by UK regulators - that's how Coors wound up with the famous brewery in Burton but not the Bass Ale brand. I'm no fan of Coors, but one can't really blame them for changing the name of the establishment from one that they don't own. From what I've read, they're doing a good job with White Shield, which, unlike Bass in most forms (save the cask), is still pretty well respected. Unfortunately, White Shield hasn't been exported to the US since before the deal (and when it was being brewed by the late King and Barnes), so I'm forced to go on hearsay on that .

                As Jim Dorsch mentions, many beer drinkers point to the elimination of the Burton Unions, and that happened back in the 1980's IIRC. Around the same time (according to Michael Jackson) they stopped dry hopping, as well.

                In the US, for many decades, we've gotten a totally different beer labeled "Bass Ale"- one with more alcohol, different hop specifications- one that Jackson often stated to be even "blander" that the bottled Bass in the UK and, needless to say, filtered and pasteurized.

                Bass Ale, circa the early 1970's was one of the first "wow" beers I remember having but there is nothing at all left in the current US version of Bass Ale that reminds me of that beer.

          2. I never bother to buy it for myself. Too many other brews have priority. If someone else is serving it I have no problem drinking it.

            1. I like it just fine. If I can't get a nice local English bitter style ale, I get Bass. Can't stand the Triple XXX Hop Suicide Mouthful-of-Pennies style IPAs anyway.

              9 Replies
              1. re: monkeyrotica

                I love English bitter too. What are some of your favs?


                1. re: Chinon00

                  Redhook ESB is my go-to bitter. It's usually on sale and readily available. Wolaver also makes a bitter, but the name escapes me. Nice finish, low carbonation, but a little pricier.

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Fuller's! That is the beer that made me realize that smaller beers can be tasty.

                    1. re: niquejim

                      fullers offerings are outstanding,yum.

                      1. re: foodfanUSA

                        I got the opportunity to go to a Fuller's pub in London's Westminster section. I was there for 4 hours in the afternoon then came back for a nightcap.

                        1. re: Chinon00

                          I've only ever had the ESB, London Pride, 1845, Vintage Ale, and London Porter. Are there others they make and serve there?

                          1. re: Josh

                            Other than those I had their "hock" (a dark mild) and their IPA which sang a song.

                            1. re: Chinon00

                              Wow, IPA? Had no idea. And why can't I get it here??

                              1. re: Josh

                                Can't say I've specifically looked for it in years (so it still might be on the shelf) but it was quite common in New Jersey at one point. It was pretty typically "UK style IPA", IIRC, and was probably not as popular as ESB, London Pride and Vintage. My memory of it was as 12 oz. bottles in a sixpack, so maybe it's not as well distributed as the Imperial pint bottled labels are?

                2. I've always loved Bass and it's still one of my favorite beers. It used to be the only thing that I would drink. These days I drink New Castle more often than not but there will always be room in my fridge for Bass.

                  1. I used to drink a lot of Bass before I branched out to local beers. The other day I had it on tab in a bar and it didn't taste as good as it used to. I remembered it as nuttier (slightly malty) and heartier; instead, It tasted thin and a little like bitter bud light... Perhaps, my tastebud changed, or they had a bad batch? I don't know...