A visit by a kickin' London band invites a sampling of British suds.

Hard Pints 

A visit by a kickin' London band invites a sampling of British suds.

With snarling punk hooks, Clash-saluting reggae backbeats, wall-banging disco and lyrics about the continual series of disappointments that is life in proletarian England, Hard-Fi, a rock quartet from the far reaches of West London, puts the kickass back into working class.

In fact, we at the Pitch were so inspired by Hard-Fi's desperate, pub-smashing sound on its debut record, Stars of CCTV, that we picked up a selection of British beers from World Market in Westport and set about re-discovering Britrock through the woozy goggles of UK ale. Here's what we blaaarp found.

McEwan's India Pale Ale: Scottish, but drunk widely throughout the UK, no doubt by many fans of late-'80s drugged-out hooligans the Happy Mondays, who thrashed through a brief career in spastic dance-rock like autistic kids in a psychotropic drug-test lab. This ale is bitter and earthy, and its label boasts a smarmy Scarlet Pimpernel cunt who's grinning like he wants to bugger your little sister.

Newcastle Brown Ale: Popular, yes, but also indispensably comforting. It's mellow, smooth and hoppy — a great ale for relaxin' with your mates and getting extremely emotional over a Man United football game on telly. This toast is to Elbow, purveyors of glorious, cry-on-shoulder Britpop anthems massive enough to fill a cathedral but down-to-earth enough to justify murdering another bag of crisps ... and having another pint.

Samuel Smith's Famous Taddy Porter: This one comes with posh gold foil around the cap, but its label's square as hell. Hmm ... posh but square. Hullo, Elton! Wait, let's try it — blech! This dark, opaque concoction tastes like Thames water mixed with coffee, licorice and cack. This is a drink for dirty old men, so we spill it out to the venerable Ian Dury, that misshapen, Cockney-cabbielike pub rocker and disco king who sang about pinching pornos and getting hit with rhythm sticks.

St. Peter's English Ale: Arriving in a formidable, flask-shaped bottle and made from organic hops and barley, this scrumptious, clean-tasting brown is like Newcastle with an Oxford degree. In fact, it's downright holy. Joe Strummer, cheers to you, mate.

Guinness Pub Draught: We haven't toasted any birds yet, so we'll hoist a glass of this famous Irish stout to Polly Jean Harvey, who seems like the perfect perturbed, disapproving, ball-breaking female to stand in for dear old mum on our next pub crawl.

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale: After the first Sammy Smith tasted like cock, we have no interest in this one at all. Well, maybe a little. It is beer, after all. Actually, no. Hell, no. Sod off. (This one's for Morrissey, who approaches sex the exact same way.)

Bass & Co. Pale Ale: Fuck it, we're pissed. Let's just slam this back and listen to some more Hard-Fi: Go to the cash MACHEEN mna mna na na Yeah, rock and roll!!!

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