72. Brains SA

At the very real risk of becoming predictable, it’s back to the Grape & Grain we go for another pint of CAMRA-approved “real ale”. This turns out to be the first Welsh beer to be covered in these pages, which is terribly exciting.


And I use the word “exciting” quite wrongly.

Brains SA is a fairly standard Best Bitter, and as such pours a typically warm, dark chestnut colour, but with the tiniest of frothy heads.

It has a sharp, harshly bitter flavour, which only temporarily masks the fact that it has absolutely nothing else going for it. It’s dry, but in this case that’s really more of an unpleasant aftertaste than a finish. The body is watery and lifeless, and it’s next to impossible to find anything more to say about this beer.

The Welsh and the old guard CAMRA types apparently wet themselves over it, but this is a crushingly unexciting beer. The term “real ale” seems more dated and less relevant than ever.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: S.A. Brain and Co., Cardiff, Wales
Style: Best Bitters
Strength: 4.2% ABV
Found at: The Grape & Grain, Anerley Hill, London SE19
Serving: Cask, pint

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