Tag: Beer World Cup

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Beer World Cup – the next round

My Market Kitchen appearance was broadcast last Thursday night, so I can now reveal that, as some people guessed, I squeaked through the first round of the Beer World Cup versus Germany.

The competition breaks down into two parts: a blind tasting of the two beers before we get there, and a studio debate on whose beer culture is the best. The audience score both parts and the combined score produces the winner. Schiehallion actually lost out very narrowly to Paulaner lager in the taste test, confirming my suspicions about how to play this tactically with a mainly female audience not that into beer. I very narrowly won the studio debate.
(Sample dialogue:
Sabine von Reth: “In Germany, in the army you get two litres of free beer every day. The British army doesn’t have this.”
Matt (our chair): “Pete, what do you say to that?”
Me: “If you’re British, don’t join the army. Go to the pub instead.”)
Overall, I won and went through. But I think it was by the very narrowest of margins. Sabine was great. She runs the Bavarian Brewhouse in Old Street, London. They’re currently having an Oktoberfest there, with bands flow in from Munich. I suggest you go. I will be.
Anyway, next week we record the semi-final. I’m up against America, so this could get messy. I don’t know the person I’m up against, but they could bring either the blandest, most boring beer in the world or something very good indeed. What will the audience go for? Will they recognise greatness?
I need to choose another beer to go up against them. And if I get through, I need a range of six beers for the final. I can’t duplicate beers. So do I sacrifice one of our finest beers for the semi, choosing something I believe can beat whatever the Yanks throw at us? Or do I save the best for the final and play tactically? And why is British beer culture so much better than American beer culture?
These are the questions that will preoccupy me till October 7th…

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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…