Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Wisdom of Roger Protz

The great man has received quite a lot of criticism recently. The criticism is deserved juding by the piece reproduced below from the latest What's Brewing. Referring to Hartley's XB he says:

"If memory serves me well, I recall a darkish bitter with a strong malty character, quite different to the paler and hoppier bitter brewed by Jennings."

Now I never considered Hartleys XB to be darkish but that is a minor point. But Jennings' paler and hoppier? I think that maybe Mr Protz's memory may not be serving him as well as he thinks.


  1. Yes, he's obviously confusing it with something else, possibly Yates & Jackson. Jennings Bitter has been dark with a bit of a burnt toffee flavour for as long as I can remember.

    While it's always sad to lose an independent brewery, Hartleys had been a poorly-managed an unenterprising firm and many of their pubs had been allowed to become very tatty and run-down.

  2. My friend Graham Donning, who used to live in Ulverston, told me that Hartley's beers were much more consistent after the takeover by Robinson's. I wrote a post in May about my bottle of the Last Drop of Hartley's and the brewery closure.

  3. Ah, consistency... In the late period Hartley's had become very variable indeed. But it could still be very good, in the right place, at the right time. It wasn't just the pubs that had been run down, the brewery was likely overdue some serious investment. I had a pretty good pint of XB in the Old Friends a little while back. But nowadays, I wouldn't usually bother.

  4. I drank a pint of Stringer's West Caost Pale Ale on Sunday. It was excellent but reminded me very much of Tetley Bitter in its heyday apart from the colour - there was sulphur on the nose and bananas in the taste. Is this deliberate? Should it have tasted like that?