Friday 15 May 2009

Eurovision Beer Contest 2009

So it’s Eurovision this weekend, a big old camp cheese fest of dodgy music, weird acts in strange costumes and political voting. It occurred to me three days ago that I should’ve held a Eurovision beer contest, taking 15-or-so Euro countries and finding a beer from each and having a little competition. Like a beer night but with slightly more co-ordination.

Anyway, I’ll try and remember to do that next year, but today let me ask you this: Of the European beer you have drunk this year (or beer from any of the countries competing in Eurovision – I mean Israel, seriously? European?! – also you can have England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as four separate countries instead of lumping them together as the UK), which gets Full Points and which gets Nil Point? In other words, which was the best and which was the worst. And, of course, where did it come from (this is about place as much as it’s about beer)?

Just one beer for each. It doesn’t matter whether it was an ultra-rare Belgian lambic, a pint of brilliant pilsner in the Czech Republic or just a nasty bottle of fizz from some obscure Eastern European country, it’s about that one great beer which stands out in your memory (and is therefore worthy of Full Points) or the one terrible beer that is blighting your memory (and deserves Nil Points).

Notes: Try not to plump for the obvious big name beers like Carling or Stella for the bad ones. And consider that it is a one-off rating, it doesn’t have to be the worst country overall, just the worst for one particular beer, because as we know, sometimes these countries put forward completely mental acts when I’m sure there must be at least one other person in their country who can actually sing.


  1. Full Points: Denmark with Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Brunch Weasel. A pretty unique beer so a completely worthy winner. I think you have to be a bit left-field to win this thing!

    Nil Points: Belgium with Biere des Moulins (it’s InBev so who knows exactly where it’s brewed – ratebeer says Belgium and I’m happy enough with that), the beer in a plastic bottle which I reviewed in the bath. Bloody horrible. There’s so much good beer in Belgium but this one stands out as the worst I’ve had. Eggy metal.

  2. Full points: Nørrebro Bryghus' sublime La Granja Stout representing Norway. Made with whole coffee beans, smooth and chocolatey, the ultimate stout in my world.

    Nil points: Greene King IPA representing the UK, smelt and tasted like rubber carpet underlay - foul beyond words.

  3. Full points to Scotland for BrewDog Zephyr. Unlike anything I have drunk before. Truly unique and remarkable.

    Nil point to the block voting eastern bloc, i'm yet to taste a beer with any sort of flavour from any of these countries...

  4. Michael Elliott15 May 2009 at 18:13

    About two months ago, I started trying to rank the beer I've been drinking. I think I've done about 150 so far. My current top two are both American, but the vast majority are British. With that in mind, it's not much of a surprise that my awards are:

    Full points: England for O'Hanlon's Thomas Hardy's Ale.

    Nil points: England for Greene King IPA (snap, Velky Al!).

  5. Michael Elliott15 May 2009 at 18:17

    Or, if the two countries have to be different, then I'm afraid my "nil points" have to go to my home country of Northern Ireland for Whitewater's Belfast Lager. Which would be a pity, because I actually think it's rather nice (for a lager).

  6. Greene King IPA was disgusting when I had it - not sure if the pub I was in were at fault, but it was so bad my next pint was a Guinness as it was the only vaguely respectable beer they had.