Social Media Buttons



What's new?

What's new?
My next beer book is fully funded but there's still time to pledge! Click here for details.
Is 'easy drinking refreshment' the same thing as lack of flavour? My latest Morning Advertiser column
My new book, The Pub: A Cultural Institution is out now.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Britain's Best Beer: All is Revealed

Me, my worthy adversary Sabine von Reth, and presenter Matt Tebbutt

Thanks for the record number of comments when I asked you about the best British beer. Consensus is somewhere around Landlord, White Shield and London Pride, which I find hard to argue with.

But now I can reveal what it's all about.

Market Kitchen, the food magazine programme on UKTV Food, is running a Beer World Cup to find out which country makes the best beer in the world - and has the best beer culture. Each week two countries face off in rounds then go through to semis in October, then the final. It's all just a bit of fun of course.

I was honoured to be asked to represent the UK in the first game in the first round, and I drew Germany. We filmed it yesterday evening.

Now this was a tough gig. I was expecting Germany to bring a very good lager along - and I was right. And the thing is, the decision is made by a studio audience vote on a combined blind tasting of the beer with a heated studio debate. The audience is not sophisticated in its beer appreciation - it's an audience of people who go along to the filming of a daytime cookery programme. Lots of men who drink lager, and lots of women who think they don't like beer. A really good German lager - to this audience - would surely be more acceptable than a complex, intriguing, flavourful ale. I had to think clever on this one.

So thanks for all the suggestions, but thanks to Mike from Utobeer for the inspired tactical suggestion of Schiehallion - a British lager, cask conditioned, that last year won 'best pilsner' at the World Beer Awards. Not the beer that represents everything great about British brewing, but a beer that shows what Britain can do, a British take on a European style.

So how did we get on? Was this particular meeting a return to the glory of 1966 or a rerun of the agonising defeat on penalties in 1990? You'll have to wait till 24th September and tune in to UKTV to find out...


Andrew said...

You've done it now - representing Britain with a lager on daytime TV and speaking up for lager in the Brewers Guardian. You've burnt all your bridges now - well done!

Now I'll have to blog this...

Fatman said...

Shame on you Pete - another nail in the coffin of the English hop industry.

Can't fault your tactics though, I hope you won.

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

What was the lager? Jever? Waldhaus Diplom Pils? Lowen-brau (the Bamberg one)?
Was going to be representing Italy but that’s not happening now, which is just as well as the best Italian beer I could find available in the UK was Peroni Gran Reserva, Bit like using something like Michelob for the US.

Pete said...

Sabine brought along Paulaner. A tough one to argue against.

Barm said...

Hmm, I think Schiehallion is way better than anything Paulaner brew.