This week I was awarded the prize for best beer and food writing at the BritishGuild of Beer Writers annual dinner.
I write about beer and food because I think that if anything is able to change the way people think about beer then it’ll be because it’s linked to the dinner table; it gives a point of reference to something familiar to try something which they are unfamiliar with. I also like to have fun with beer and food and my kitchen adventures were part of what got me the gong: shoving a can of Punk IPA up a chicken’s arse; cooking sausage, chips and beans and drinking nine beers with it to see which works best; making ketchup from beer to go with chicken crusted in malt; ‘mashing in’ pale malt with double cream and milk to make custard for ice cream and creme brulee; pale malt cookies; beer jelly and ice cream; imperial stout chilli; working on a beer list for Byron Hamburgers; and, of course, a few FABPOWs, including one with a Big Mac.
The award ceremony, as ever, was brilliant, but this year was the best I’ve been to in the last three years. The venue, the food, the beer, the timing, all worked so well. It was also good that I helped out with the beer and food pairings for the meal this year. And while they weren’t all perfect, the point is that the beers and the food were individually excellent and they bring out conversation about whether they work or not and why and what would be better. That’s what makes pairing beer and food more fun.
Congratulations to all the other winners: Evin O’Riordain from The Kernel for Brewer of the Year; Des de Moor for Travel Writing for his excellent book on London; Pete Brown for Corporate Communications; Martyn Cornell and Mark Charlwood for Online Media; Marverine Cole and Gavin Aitchinson for Regional writing; Ben McFarland and Glynn Davis for Trade; and Adrian Tierney-Jones and Will Hawkes for National Media. Ben McFarland got the big one and was Beer Writer of the Year for the third time. Ben’s writing is brilliant and always inspires me to write better.
Here’s to the best of beer writing!
As Steve points out, London did pretty well this year.