Sunday 22 April 2012

Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt 2012

On Saturday whilst I should have been catching up with my beauty sleep I was hot footing it to Borough to tout my wares at Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt. I don't know many brewers entered the competition but only eight or nine companies turned up at the promotional event.  I was a little apprehensive as I'd heard there were going to be 200 punters for the tasting and I was expecting something like when the wrong door gets opened in a zombie film and a shambling mob lurches in.

In fact the tasting for the competition was done in a separate room the tasters arrived in staggered groups. As well as the public there were also serious beer bods there which was an added bonus. I got to shake hands with Michael Hardman, one of the four apostles. I would say I'll never wash my hand again, but that would be an empty gesture as I haven't washed it for many years already after shaking hands with Dave Brock.

I also got to meet one of my beer heroes, Glenn Payne, who was once the beer buyer for Safeways supermarket. It's thanks to him that I learnt about the delights of American craft beer many years ago, when I could buy beers from the likes of Goose Island and Dogfish Head in one of my local supermarkets.  

 I don't know quite how Sainsburys decided which nectar card holders to invite but the number of youths and the balance of the sexes was promising for the future of beer.

I enjoyed talking to so many beer enthusiasts but it was a long day and I can't say I was sad when it was time to go home, and more importantly get to the pub. 


  1. Last year it really was a beer hunt as I unfruitfully trailed round all the local branches of Sainsbury's in search of the competition beers, or even just a member of staff who knew the competition was taking place. Perhaps this year they'll manage to tell the stores about it and send them some stock to sell.

  2. In my local branch they put the competition beers in the 'seasonal' aisle, not with the other beers, which no doubt helped decrease sales.

  3. this is the first i have heard of it when was it held and how did you get an invite!

  4. They sent an email round to brewers ages back asking if they wanted to enter, which sainsbury's customers that get invited depends on what big brother sees when he looks at their nectar card records.

  5. ...talking about American brewers, "The New Beer Frontier" is on Radio 4's Food Programme. iPlayer...