“Pint of Bitter Please!” Beer Recipe?

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Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2013
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I’ve had a lack of success in brewing that quintessential beer where you walk into an old English pub that only has a few beers on tap and say, “pint of bitter please mate!”… and then you get handed that delicious pint of liquid gold.

So… does anyone please have a link to a tried, tested and reputable “pint of bitter”? I’ll be brewing 10 gallons but I can easily upscale from a 5g batch.

To my memory it’s not as bright and hoppy as an IPA but more bitter than an American pale ale.

Thanks ever so much!
UK Bitter is such a lovely beer, one of my favorites. Simplicity and tradition are your friends when brewing a bitter IMO. A base of good quality UK pale malt with a discreet touch of crystal malt, some mellow British hops, and a mildly estery yeast are a good place to start. Below is my take on Conniston's Bluebird Bitter, a simple ale with one type of hop. Do try brewing this with a 90 minute boil and just two hop additions. I mash this at 67C/153F for an hour.

10 US Gallons
Est OG 1.050, Est IBU 40

15.5 lb (95%) MO Pale malt
.75 lb (5%) Crystal 55L

2 oz Challenger (~7.5% AA) @ 90 min
1 oz Challenger @ 15 min

London Ale Yeast, White Labs WLP-013
When I began brewing, since my own tastes gravitate to traditional English styles my goal was to make first; "the" beer you'd have been served had you walked into a pub and simply asked for 'a pint' prior to 1960, and second; the beer you'd get if you asked for 'a pint of bitter please'. My test subject is my dad-in-law; Born in Liverpool in 1931, (kicked the sh*t out of one of the younger Krays up the road and got the sh*t kicked of him by one of the older Krays in return when he was a kid, in the SAS in the early 1950's.... a typical pub-goer who hadn't had a satisfying beer since moving to Canada in 1972...
@kevin58 linked to the same source I used... my own hop choice was fuggles and ekg's. He was so satisfied and pleased by it, he finally stopped going to 'the Beer Store' (where you buy beer in Canada) and now eclusively buys from a local brewery and constantly asks if I've made any more. ...he previously would never have considered shopping like that.
If that sounds like what you're going for, then definitely check out that link!