British Craft Beer Challenge brings out the patriot beer drinkers
The debate over which country produces the best beer is a heated and contentious one. All over the world, each nation strongly claims that they make the best pint, but the people at The London Brewery have decided to end the discussion forever by hosting the British Craft Beer Challenge. The event, which runs over one weekend a month, pits the Britons against their biggest beer foes and allows the people of Hackney to vote. This weekend saw the second round of the battle, Britain vs. The United States, and both competitors brought out their big guns.
When it came to tasting the British beers, the Tempest Unforgiven was first into the ring and was an immediate favourite, with a smokiness that didn’t overpower its delicate juniper notes. Next was the Shoreditch Triangle I.P.A, which, with its caramel and zesty notes was bold yet still easy to drink. Last of the British standouts was the London Fields Love Not War, originally made in the barricaded brewery while the London riots were raging – a dark beer with a multidimensional flavour of bitter grapefruit and malty notes that were lifted by the crisp, refreshing finish at the end. The British put up a good fight.
In the American corner, first up was the Anchor Summer Beer, a light, thirst-quenching brew with a gentle malty flavour and a fluffy head. Next, the Flying Dog Doggie Style, with its amber colour and tangy “hoppiness” was delicious and easily one of the most popular beers of the day. Last up for the Americans was heavyweight Brooklyn Lager: the golden hue led to a rich caramel taste, lifted by the almost floral notes. To pick a winner out of these two great nations seemed an impossible task.
With stomachs (and heads) full of beer, the need for food was satiated by London-based but American-inspired Dixie Union, whose offering of 24-hour pulled pork was perfectly smoky, tender and juicy and with their barbecue sauce and red cabbage slaw had the right amount of heat and crunch. Also available was their deep-fried prawn sandwich with baby gem lettuce and Tabasco mayonnaise, which was unusual but delicious, with creamy shellfish and spicy mayo. For desserts, You Doughnut supplied fresh-out-the-fryer doughnuts sprinkled with a number of different toppings. The doughnut was perfectly cooked, light and fluffy and dredged in classic cinnamon and sugar.
The British Craft Beer Challenge is for anyone who needs an excuse to get out into the sunshine (while it lasts) and enjoy a few pints. The event is laid-back and well organised to ensure enough seating throughout the day. Crowds aren’t much of a problem either as only 500 tickets are sold for each day. The third unmissable round of this titanic clash is on 3rd August, when Britain takes on Europe. At the end of the day, no one knows who makes the best beer but it seems perfectly acceptable to sit on the fence for this one.
Photos: Monika Jørgesen
For further information about the British Craft Beer Challenge and future events visit here.