I’ve written about this before. Those people who say: ‘I don’t like lager.’ What sort of lagered beer you ask, don’t they like? Bock, dunkel, keller, rauch, helles, Pilsener, tmavy lezak and so on. Having just finished reading Lizzie Collingham’s Curry (instead of being paid for my OCB articles on hop varieties I asked for a selection of OUP books and this was one), I am struck by the similarities of the lager-loather with the curry-phobe. ‘I don’t like curry.’ Well what sort of curry don’t you like? A korma, a dopiaza, a bhuna, etc etc. You get my drift. You might have made this connection as soon as you drank a glass of Arctic-cold, tongue-piercingly carbonated ‘lager’ produced in an industrial estate with your dish of Anglo-friendly madras or vindaloo (Portuguese in origin by the way) so apologies for stating the bleeding obvious. On the other hand the bastardisation of what it means to be lager or curry demonstrates the way this country gobbles up food and drink styles, chucks out the subtleties and the complexities and serves up a one-dimensional, infantile palate pleasing version that won’t frighten the locals. And with that in mind, thank god that the American-influenced beers are being produced by smaller artisanal breweries — I shudder to think what a Double IPA from Magor would taste and sound like.