Posts tagged ‘duvel’

June 5, 2012

Pete Brown’s Beer and Music Matching: Can you taste the synth?

As the Jubilee flotilla set sail I was passing over Blackfriars Bridge and momentarily glimpsed the crowds on the Southbank. Any thoughts that I should be down there in the rain, amongst the plastic flags were put to rest. I had an afternoon planned that was essentially a few beers masked as cultural pursuits at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival.

copyright: Stoke Newington Literary Festival

We are all familiar with matching beer (and wine) with food, but who would be able to match beer and music? It’s a subject Pete covered in Word magazine recently and for the first time was exploring it as a live session. There’s serious science underpinning the concept but I won’t go into cognitive priming theory as I simply wouldn’t do it justice with my E in GCSE Biology. What it did undoubtedly prove is that beer (and music) are truly a social lubricant. I entered a room of strangers took a seat and exchanged a few pleasantries to break the silence. Pete was finalising the matches at the front, glimpsing a half filled room, most likely wondering if it was going to fill up. It did and by 1:10pm it was full. As the beer flowed and the music played the table started to talk more and more – about beer, music, friends, memories and whatever was brought to mind. By the end, the five of us were happily draining any bottles left on our tables or those nearby until politely asked to leave.

The matches worked for me and I got the point of the session. More practice on my part maybe required and there is a thought to try the odd music match myself. I won’t list all the matches but Duvel and the Pixies was inspired – as was the description and comparison of Duvel poured into a Duvel glass and the chosen track – the foam rising up the glass ready to tear your face off (in a good way). This was the final match and by this point Pete like his audience was nicely buzzed. More than just a talk by a beer writer this was firmly in the territory of a one man show. There were plenty of laughs, those head nodding moments when something connects and Pete’s passion for music (and New Order in particular… can you taste the synths?) shining through and the odd candid moment when questioned from the audience. To hazard a guess I would think that Pete at points was loving it, as he breaks away from the mic stand and the language becomes a little sharper, but without straying too far. In between his spots when the music is playing I thought I could even detect signs that we may see a dancing Pete Brown at any second. I’m sure (hope) that this isn’t the last we see of the beer and music matching as a live event. I would go as far to say that this could even make it North of the border to the Fringe. Simply, it’s the perfect way to introduce people to beer whether above the White Hart during the Lit Fest, at the Fringe or in a festival field.

December 31, 2010

Tournee Generale: Why can’t we be more like the Belgians!

After a Christmas where any TV choice was dictated by a Ben 10 obsessed 3 year old it was a welcome change to return home and see what the V+ box had in store.  Oz and Hugh Raise the Bar seemed like the most appealing offering but in televisual terms proves that the bar tends to be quite low these days. The format is the well worn travel mission where our hosts supposedly showcase the best of what’s on offer with a challenge in the last programme of running their own bars: for one night only that is. It’s laboured, gimmicky TV which relies on stereotypes and a scattergun approach to content. It leaves me asking: why can’t we be more like the Belgians! Yes that’s right the Belgians. Stay with me.

Such was my despair I went to the fridge, reached into the bottom shelf and cracked open a bottle of  Tournee Generale. Quite possibly the only beer created as part of a TV show (of the same name) and sold commercially? Now i’m sure I may be corrected at this point, but its the only one I know of. And yes you guessed it. It’s Belgian. The result is Tournee Generale (6.5%). It’s a cloudy, amber beer, with a creamy head and a definite  Coriander taste and smell. It’s not a classic but is more than drinkable. In some ways, the fact that its brewed (by Duvel Moortgat) as a result of a TV show is its most interesting characteristic  

For those who remember MTV in the 90s, when it was about the music and not awful teen reality,  you’d recognise the shows co-host, Ray Cokes who is paired with Jean Blaute who you probably don’t.  As the name suggests the series is a tour of brewers in search of  the countries best with the objective of brewing a Speciale Belge. From what I’ve viewed so far it’s not the scattergun approach of our BBC equivalents; crediting the viewer with a little intelligence and as and added bonus there are no shots of a hungover Oz Clarke in his pants!

Here’s a taster! Interested to know what your views are on the treatment of beer in the mainstream media.

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