Going wild (yeast) in Amsterdam

If there is a more international, more fascinating, more illuminating, more must-not-be-missed beer celebration on the planet right now than Carnivale Brettanomyces in Amsterdam, let me know immediately, because it must be marvellous. Carnivale Brettanomyces, now on its sixth year, calls itself a beer festival, but it’s more a three-day massively parallel series of dozens… Read More Going wild (yeast) in Amsterdam

Stock (ale) answers from Goose Island and Ron Pattinson

Let’s get one potentially controversial point out of the way first: this is a £20 bottle of beer. If that shocks you, you’ve not been paying attention to what’s happening in the market: there are more expensive beers than that. Some of Thornbridge’s sour creations sell at £15 for a bottle half the size. And… Read More Stock (ale) answers from Goose Island and Ron Pattinson

Carlsberg celebrates the ordinary

So, what was it like, the ancient lager Carlsberg spent two years and hundreds of thousands of kroner recreating, resurrecting yeast out of a bottle dating back to 1883, pulling out 130-year-old brewing records, growing an ancient barley variety, hiring a floor maltings, working out the most likely hop varieties to use, reproducing the original… Read More Carlsberg celebrates the ordinary

Designed in Japan, brewed in Belgium, drunk in Hong Kong

For a young Japanese entrepreneur, Shiro Yamada has a perhaps unlikely-sounding hero: Baron Bilimoria of Chelsea, lawyer, accountant, son of an Indian army general, and the first Parsi to sit in the British House of Lords. Bilimoria’s establishment credentials were enough to get him in the Royal Box at the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations last… Read More Designed in Japan, brewed in Belgium, drunk in Hong Kong

An evening with Eric Toft, Reinheitsgebot iconoclast

Eric Toft – middle-aged, handsome, seldom seen out of lederhosen despite being born in the United States, passionate about beer in all its varieties – is an American with a mission: to drag German brewing kicking and screaming out of the 16th century. After a career that would be the envy of – well, me,… Read More An evening with Eric Toft, Reinheitsgebot iconoclast

Cooking with Stella – no, no, come back …

Where I come from, if you suggested cooking with Stella Artois, you’d be comprehensively jeered, by both the many fans of what is probably the fourth or fifth best-selling beer in Britain, for being a pretentious twat, and by Stella’s many haters, for promoting a mega-lager seen as, at best, bland and pointless. But where… Read More Cooking with Stella – no, no, come back …

Matching Chinese food and beer

One of the opportunities I was looking forward to in Hong Kong was the chance to match beer with Chinese food, a surprisingly under-explored area. I believe strongly that most beers go with most foods: but that doesn’t mean some pairings cannot be particularly felicitous, and that’s especially true with Chinese cuisine. China is easily… Read More Matching Chinese food and beer

Cooking with beer helps prevent cancer

Cooking with beer helps prevent cancer – well, it’s in New Scientist magazine, so it must be true. Normally I’m deeply sceptical of “eating/drinking X gives you/prevents Y” stories but this one was so wonderful I had to repeat it. A lady called Isabel Ferreira, an assistant professor at the Department of Bromatology* at the… Read More Cooking with beer helps prevent cancer