Sharp’s Brewery: Doom Bar

Doom barAs you may already know Sharps make their most famous beer and name it in honour of a legendary sand bank in the mouth of the camel estuary in Cornwall – not that far from Padstow harbour.

Did you also know that according to this article: Doom Bar is the UK’s favourite cask beer?  I didn’t…and with that sort of weight of public opinion I really ought to like the bottled version, oughtn’t I?

When poured out into a pint glass the hazelnut reddish brown of Doom bar gave off heavy malt notes in the aroma, along with warm alcohol and some autumnal red berry fruit backnotes.  Not much in the way of hoppiness, but not the poorer for that.

The mouth-feel was quite difficult to discern at first, but once you were past the effervescence it rated in the light to middle range.  Taste-wise: there was a dry maltiness that lead on through to caramelly notes that tailed off into a medium bitterness.

The after-taste was again dryish and malty with some residual bitterness, so I was happy that it all fitted together and felt joined up.

I must admit to being somewhat under-whelmed by Doom Bar.  I mean; it’s drinkable enough but I didn’t get any spark of originality in the taste or anything that made me sit up and say “Hey, this is a great beer”

But saying that it is apparently the best selling cask beer in the UK.  Maybe a catchy name and an easy-going middle-of-the-road drinkability counts for a lot in the drinks business…

Maybe I’ll really dig the draught version….we’ll see.


Can you believe it.  I wrote the above during my lunch hour – and that very evening, when I got home, my wife asked if I fancied an Indian takeaway for supper (which of course I did).  Our local takeaway/restaurant is based in the Carpenters Arms in Middle Barton: “A Taste of India”.

Abdul is the main man when it comes to running this enterprise, and with an extensive menu and a – brace yourself – Garlic Chicken Tikka Jalfrezi to die for, we’re regular customers.

Of course while you wait for your food to be cooked you may as well have a pint hadn’t you?  And this particular visit yielded Doom Bar on draught – happy days.

I found a draught pint of Doom Bar to be much more enjoyable than the bottle, it does sport a vaguely sour note in the bitterness alongside that same inevitable dryness that the bottled version had.

I’m sad to say I still can’t work out why it’s so popular?  I mean it’s nice enough, but it’s not my top beer by any stretch…unlike A Taste of India which now runs Tiffins in Kidlington a very close second.

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