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