I was saddened to learn that Robinson's will shortly drop the cask versions of both Wards and OB Bitter. These brands were bought largely to gain club free trade accounts and were expected in the main, to be smooth beers, but cask versions were made available too. I should mention at this point for my Southern readers that in this case "club" refers to "social", not "night". Regrettably, few of these club outlets are cask.
It seems that sales of the cask versions can no longer justify their continuance. So the brands will continue as "smooth" only. This is a very unfortunate outcome and one that causes me to re-think.
I wrote about OB here some time ago and said "Purists will no doubt argue that the brand should have been allowed to die, but while it may not be an exact copy of the original due to yeast changes, it is a good beer in its own right and satisfies a local need. The beer is going great guns and is permanently listed by Robbies. It has gained a good foothold in Oldham."
Looks like I got it wrong and the purists were right!
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