Introducing the latest addition to the beer lineup in our SE Portland taproom, the Bus Stop Bitter.
The classic, sessionable, English pub beer. Bus Stop Bitter is built around flavorful Maris Otter malt and perfectly complemented by traditional East Kent Golding and Challenger hops.
Style: Best Bitter / ABV: 4.54% / IBU: 35
As the style suggests, this beer is driven by a strong but palatable bitterness. A soft, toasty, biscuit like foundation from Maris Otter malt along with a slight honey note helps support the overall showcase of traditional English hops. East Kent Golding and Challenger hops were used for their classic contributions. EKG lends earthy spice and resinous herbal character to the palate. A sizeable charge of Challenger hops late in the kettle adds pleasant floral, marmalade, and stone fruit notes. We kept the carbonation low to both stick to historical examples and reduce the overall acidic content. Carbonic acid can mute the subtle malt character, removing the delicate balance for such a low abv beer. The strong bitterness, dry finish, and low alcohol content makes for a quaffable beer that you can enjoy more than a few of.
The term "bitter" has been used in England to describe pale ale since the early 19th century. Although brewers used the term "pale ale", before the introduction of pump clips, customers in public houses would ask for "bitter" to differentiate it from mild ale; by the end of the 19th century, brewers had begun to use the term as well. During the 20th century, bitter became the most popular type of draught beer sold in British pubs and has been described as "the national drink of England". In Scotland, bitter is known as either "light" or "heavy" depending on the strength, colour and body. Bitter is traditionally cask conditioned and either dispensed by gravity through a tap in the cask or by a beer engine, although in recent decades, bitter has also been pasteurised and carbonated, or sold in bottles or cans, which affects the flavour. Despite the myth, bitter should not be served warm, but at "cellar temperature" of 11° to 14° Celsius. The popularity of craft brewing in North America has led to British-style bitter being brewed there since the 1980s.
British brewers have several loose names for variations in beer strength, such as ordinary, best, special, extra special, and premium. The difference between an ordinary and a best bitter is that one particular brewery's best bitter will usually be stronger than its ordinary, and premium bitter stronger again. Hop levels will vary within each sub group, though there is a tendency for the hops in the session bitter group to be more noticeable.