In our modern day beer world, with it's multitude of styles, varieties, huge amount of new breweries and beers popping up, it's easy to get a little lost or disconnected. That's when I look to the classics for a bit of perspective, or to put it another way, sometimes you need an old time champ to remind you that a beer is a beer is a beer.
It's a fantastic ale. Citrusy and grassy on the aroma and in the body. Just the right amount of bitterness. Lemon, straw and a good deal of moorish dryness within a perfect amount of condition.
Check out what the bottle states:
"Bluebird XB combines two of the great themes of ale brewing to produce something distinctive and new. The fine tradition of English Pale Ale is about quaffing, refreshment and complexity of flavour without alcoholic strength.
Then throw in new wave American hop variety Mount Hood with robust citrus aromas. ... Not too much mind or we might have an American Pale Ale on our hands?
Bluebird XB familiar... but different"
Sound familiar? Well back then it didn't! Coniston started up in 1995. Back then there wasn't the beer scene we have today, quite the opposite, some would say. The beer scene has moved on though, and things have changed dramatically, but one thing hasn't; Bluebird XB.
I'm not trying to say that all this change isn't great, of course it is, but sometimes it's just nice to remind yourself of the past classics. After all, a lot of the beers today, if not all some would say wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the classics of the past. That's not to say there isn't some modern classics though. I can think of a few right off the bat now; Ilkley Mary Jane, Kernel Citra, Marble Dobber, and even Brewdog Punk IPA (say what you will about it, but it will be around for many, many years)... but this is another blogpost.
What can you think up for old classics though? I'm thinking of beers like Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, Black Sheep Bitter, Timmy Taylors Landlord, Sam Smiths Imperial Stout, White Shield IPA, Batemans XXXB, Fullers Vintage Ale, Jennings Sneck Lifter and Green King Strong Suffolk, the list could go on and on.
The new brewers that are coming out and growing up fast should be praised for the things they're doing. But I rarely think that they're new things, and one would be wise not to forget the classic beers that, in some situations, probably came before you were even born, I know in my case that's rather a lot.