Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The World’s Best Beer

It seems to come up all the time. In the restaurant, at a party, in the pub. Everybody has one. Everyone has an opinion about everybody else’s opinion. And none of them are wrong. The best beer in the world.

This is not to be seen as an starting an argument, nor is it to be taken as a bet-settler or a point scorer. That’s not beer. Remember, it is egalitarian. And that in itself is a big word for beer. We are all created equal in the eyes of beer., although you could argue that some beers treat us poorly in that regard. And, really, that’s the fault of the brewer, and he’ll get his later.

Now to my point. Because there are so many different styles of beer, and interpretations within this framework, there is almost a best beer in the world for a) every style, b) every occasion and c) every drinker. There are also a million combinations and permutations within these contexts - I might ask Dr Lager to calculate them, maths not being my strong suit - so the chances of narrowing down to even a thousand is next to impossible.

There is that beer that you love to drink as the first one as you front the bar, the one you enjoy sipping with a meal and the one you love to suck the guts out of after a day in the hot sun. The beer that you only need one of and the one you can put away til’ you’re full as a fat lady’s sock. The darker, fruitier ale that joins you in quiet contemplation and the paler, easier drinking session-designed lager that you down in a crowd.

I have always had a firm rule on this. The best beer is the one in your hand, second only to the one in your hand that’s been bought for you by someone else. Such is beer. I also think along the optomist's line that the best beer I'm enjoying now is the second best ever and that the best is always yet to come. Hmmm. Deep.

So, when you hear someone utter the words ..” best beer in the world !”, do us a favour. Tap them on the shoulder and tell them to go talk to the beer blokes.

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