|I wouldn't even say "Hope over Expectation" to be honest.|
I got them home and stuck them in the fridge. Still, I erred on the side of optimism. "When," I thought "have Greene King ever lied or been misleading about their beers? Surely they must be at least slightly Crafty or Hoppy, right?"
And so, dear god, I tried them.
I had the Old Hoppy Hen first, I detected a slight citric edge to the expected "clear bottle aroma", but that was all. After a couple of mouthfuls I decided this was basically GK IPA with a few drops of Industrial Bittering Agent #1 added in hope of convincing the uneducated.
Downing it, and moving swiftly on to the Old Crafty Hen, I found the same old " clear bottle aroma" as before, only with a finish of sugar this time. By now I was distinctly unsurprised to find it tasted like GK IPA, but with a few spoonfuls of treacle added.
Let it be written here - those who think beer blogging is a piece of piss can be assured it isn't. Sometimes even those of us who spend our time indulging in easy mockery have to suffer. But we do learn things. Occasionally.
These beers, while not in any way good, are certainly instructive. They tell the drinker what Greene King think about "Hops" and "Craft". For the former, ramp the astringency level up. That's all that matters. For the latter, all you have to do is darken, sweetren and up the ABV above 6%. Yes, that's what they really think about the " modern beer revolution "
I say, avoid. Even if it has to be said about Greene King products. Which it probably doesn't.