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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

What's new?

What's new?
More new events added in Bristol, London and Edinburgh over April and May
I had a big piece in the Guardian this week about why publicans are unhappy
Click here to hear me talking about craft beer on this week's radio 4 Food Programme!
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Friday, 5 August 2011

FINAL Video Blog - It's August. It's GBBF!

I would say it's been a long twelve months but it only seems like last week that our motley crew assembled in Nottingham for the first time, to talk to last year's Champion Beer of Britain one month on from GBBF 2010.

That's when we began our series of 12 monthly video blogs over the course of the year, financed solely by Peter Amor of Wye Valley Brewery, who wanted to put something back into an industry he felt he'd done rather well out of.

Peter's brief was strictly to champion British real ale, and to address the lack of pride and attention we have for it.  Regular readers will know I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by partisanship and the creation of false enemies within the beer world, no matter what side it's on.  Single-minded real ale advocates have long been the worst for this, but craft beer snobs are making efforts to catch them up.

But wherever your own beliefs lie, no one can argue that British real ale, while not entirely unique, is one of the most special, individual, eccentric, flavoursome, well crafted beers in the world.  It is the only style of beer that can pack in a flavour explosion at 3.8% (excepting beers that are so hop-imbalanced they're undrinkable - and I say that as a hophead).  Belgian and American beers are just as wonderful on their day - but they only seem to start being so at around 5% ABV.

If real ale were French, it would no doubt be iron-clad in appellation controlees and EU Protected Designations of Origin. It would be as famous globally - and as celebrated in its homeland - as Bordeaux wine, French cheeses and foie gras.  It is a peculiarly English trait to be indifferent or even negative about things we're good at.  I've never met a single non-real ale drinker who nevertheless sees our brewing prowess as something to be proud of, and I've met many real ale drinkers who believe it is not.

So even though I get frustrated with Old CAMRA diehards and am personally at least as likely to enjoy an American craft beer or German lager as I am a pint of best bitter, I was proud to be asked to co-present these blogs.  We've toured the country, seeing a year of beer first hand, trying many excellent ales and meeting people from brewers large and small who love their craft.  Every pub we've drunk in has been of outstanding quality.  We've hopefully shown that Britain really should be proud of its beer and its pubs.

This final blog is from GBBF 2011 - edited and finished in time for you to watch it and then go along and try both the beers and the atmosphere.  We both use the occasion to make some points we've come to feel strongly about on the journey.  And I get to taste some beers that we missed along the way, several of them among my all-time favourite real ales.  We didn't get chance to get everywhere in the country, and I'll always regret missing out Yorkshire and, to a slightly lesser extent, Kent and Sussex.  But maybe there will be chance of another series.

Anyway - hope you enjoy the blog:




Thanks to Eggy, Kaz and Dave, to Ian for channeling an exasperated primary school teacher as he tried to direct and produce us, and especially to Mr Amor for the funding, the cantankerousness, and most of all the hats and bow ties.

9 comments:

Ian Cann said...

Cracking blog there Pete,the whole mini-series really showed that British beer is alive, kicking and enjoying itself as a community. Also it's made me want a pint, so if you;ll excuse me....

SteveF said...

A nice, positive, end to an excellent series. Was also good to see you both get more confident in front of the camera as the year went on - a career in showbiz perhaps beckons. Well, would be good practice for Saturday Kitchen at least!

swigging-pig said...

I've looked forward each month to this video blog and really enjoyed it, It's sad to think that this is the last in the series.

Well done to all those involved in making this most enjoyable and informative series of programs.

Cheers :)

Brother Logic said...

Seconding on these comments - I really enjoyed these videos. I think the production values really raised them beyond the level of people drinking and the brewing aspect of them was great. Sad to see that this is the last.

Anonymous said...

Hope you will make series 2! Really enjoyed all the episodes. I apologise for trying to get into a few shots at the GBBF, Im the lanky guy strolling past at the start [not the bearded one]. Thanks to everyone involved for making all the video blogs so entertaining and professional. [and to Mr Amors deep pockets]

Jorge - Brew Beer And Drink It said...

Nice videos... It's been too long since I've been to England, but look forward to going back soon and drinking some beer...

whydrinkbeer said...

Wonderful episodes all the way through. Thoroughly enjoyed every location and if I remember correctly...you have many more locations to visit. Bring on Season 2! Cheers.

The Bocking Kellys said...

Really enjoyed the whole series, and to have it topped off with the news that Mighty Oak won Champion Beer of Britain is brilliant.
A fantastic brewery - another success story for Essex brewing to go alongside Crouch Vale and others.

Krippe said...

It is a bit painful living in Finland when a pint of London Prides costs at least 6,60€ in the pub...