Saturday 2 July 2011

Beer. Wine. Saturday Kitchen.

I wasn't watching Saturday Kitchen today but I was watching my twitter feed with some interest as it filled with tweets about matching beer instead of wine with food. 

The argument, beautifully put by Dave Bailey in his blog, is that a publicly funded broadcaster should not, almost exclusively, match wine with food when beer which, as many of us know,  goes just as well (if not better). This bias is made all the worse when we consider that beer is our national drink. Beer is what made Britain great; it is right up there with Rolls Royce, British Airways, BT and BP.

Only last month we were being reminded of the export heritage that was Russian Imperial Stout and how British brewers are taking that beer style back to St Petersburg. So why are we allowing our national broadcaster to eschew our national drink in favour of a largely foreign beverage, and promote supermarkets in the process?

Would we be as forgiving if, switching on BBC1 on a Saturday evening in November, we were to find handball or volleyball on the TV instead of Match of the Day? It couldn't possibly happen could it, after all football is our national game, right?

What I love about Britain is its diversity; I love it that I can walk down Whitstable High Street and choose to eat Indian, Thai, French, Italian, seafood and so on. However our national broadcaster fails to reflect this diversity by solely sticking to pairing wine with food. 

Learning to home brew has opened my taste buds to a world of wonderful flavours, largely not available in supermarkets. To a degree I could argue that it has ruined my appreciation of beer; I'm drinking a beer now that I used to think was the mutt's nuts but now I find I can't finish it and I'm drinking a pint of Red Rye home brew instead. How did this happen? The beer I always loved didn't suddenly get crap, my taste buds evolved and they evolved by embracing the diversity that is the British beer scene. Our national broadcaster would do well to do the same.