Friday, 27 March 2009
A local radio station calls, would I like to go on their morning show as someone who knows about beer. Why not I say, but call me a beer writer, rather than expert (I’m not a brewer), and am asked to get together several questions on lager for a regular character called the Man With No Name. It’s a sort of speed-Mastermind (as in speed-dating rather than grinding your teeth and talking rubbish for 12 hours). He’s a lager man he tells me, Carlsberg and the occasional Bud (the one brewed in London). Oh and I tried a Baltika which was rubbish, he continues. I sent a couple of the questions over last night and get several ready this morning. It’s rather daft but good fun and like many a journalist I like the sound of my own voice. The best bit in my opinion is the question: what are the main ingredients in beer? Barley, yeast, water and hops comes the reply. Correct I say and then add that some brewers like to use rice but I like my rice in risottos rather than beer (I know there are Japanese beers with rice in them, and probably the odd Italian one, but I was in Soundbiteland). I get the sort of staged, Steve Wright-ish (note to American readers — he’s a noisy, populist radio DJ, but not Rush Limbaugh) laugh that radio presenters probably get drilled into them and I feel I’ve got a small point across without getting on a soap-box and asking for various folk to be hanged. The whole point of this five-minute diversion is that if you are given the chance to communicate about beer do it — and if you can, mirror the media in which you swim. If soundbites work, use them. I believe here in the UK there is a real thirst for beer knowledge that is there for the tapping.