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    Thursday, 12 July 2007

    Beer Drinker Of The Year? My Arse!

    I was horrified to read that Michel Roux has won Beer Drinker Of The Year according to the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group. As much as I like Albert Roux and admire his culinary skills, I cannot accept that he deserves to win this accolade.

    Apparently the major reason for his winning is the eclectic beer list at his flagship restaurant Le Gavroche. Well I cannot accept that his beer list is any more eclectic than any number of specialist pubs in this country, but the fact that they don't produce Michelin starred food, obviously precludes them from this accolade. Michel is clearly so very proud of his beers that they fail to warrant a listing on his website. Surely if he were that serious about beer he would make a point of highlighting the fact. No I am sorry. This award stinks of the old boys network, and the 'I'll scratch your back' scenario, and I am sure members of the parliamentary group will be enjoying free tables any time soon in return for the honour.

    If you are reading this Michel, don't take it personally, but a table for two in the next couple of months would be lovely.


    Stonch said...

    Surely though the award has been given because here is a man, famous for something else, who is nonetheless promoting beer?

    If the award was to be given the person who drinks the stuff the most and has the most eclectic knowledge of beer trivia, the recipient would likely not be a good advert for beer. Can you imagine what he'd look like?

    maeib said...

    Yeah a bit like me :-) But there is NO evidence he evens drinks the stuff or really knows anything about it. I'm sure he has a consultant choose his beer list as well.

    The point I made about Diane Cat in my other article is that she knows so very much about, and has a big love for beer. It's not about drinking the most stuff. It is about showing knowledge and a devotion towards beer. Monsieur Roux has none of that.

    Stonch said...

    He may well have little personal knowledge about beer, but a lot of people think that getting quality beer into top restaurants is going to be a major step in bridging the credibility gap beer suffers compared to wine. Perhaps they're right.

    I found it very easy to sell the idea of Liefmans Kriek to a bunch of female friends when they heard Gordon Ramsay has it on his taster menu in his Mayfair gaff. Now, a couple of them look out for the stuff in pubs and buy it from Waitrose instead of wine.

    Someone that can recite jingles just comes across as an oddball. Beer has to move away from an exclusively "geek" image.

    Of course there'll always be a place for the geeks - indeed they'll probably be at the cutting edge in terms of innovative brewing - but they can't support a "craft" beer industry.

    Any awards given by government or industry bodies are bound to reflect that reality, hence this one.

    haddonsman said...

    Glad to see that your arse has been awarded 'Beer Drinker of the Year'.

    What do you do, sit in a cask of GK IPA so it's a matter of crap in, crap out ;-)

    Pete said...

    I was apparently runner up, for stuff I wrote in my last book. I have to say, being beaten in a beer drinking competition by a Frenchman does rankle somewhat.

    But the thing here is, having tried myself to get people to take berr seriously as a match to food, it needs people of Roux's profile to get behind if if we are ever going to be taken serously. He may not have done as much for beer as the landlord down your local, but he's in the public eye. Rightly or wrongly, if he talk about beer it's worth more than a hundred of us guys doing the same.

    I just wish people like Rick Stein (launched his own bottle-conditioned ale), Gordomn Ramsay (opening gastropubs) and Jamie Oliver (has speciaity beer delivered to his door by the case, apparently) would be vocal about how much they love beer and we mights tart getting somewhere.