Friday, 24 December 2021

Beer Masters

Beer on the telly is a rare thing so I had to watch Beer Masters, even if it was only on Amazon Prime. It's a master chef/bake off style home brewing competition, in which five pairs of competitors have to home brew five different beers, the best from each round going through to the final. 

Beer Twitter did get a bit twitchy about it, but as a home brewer turned master brewer I could see things from the amateur and professional side and thought it was all good fun. There did seem to be a marked difference in the ability of the home brewing pairs, with some making pretty fundamental errors. And the gap between hobby and commercial brewing was also evident at times: with my professional head on I wouldn't have brew a Bretted sour beer if asked to make an accessible session beer!

But the competition romped along entertainingly enough, Jaega Wise does a good job as the resident expert and James Blunt may lack the gurning ability of Gregg Wallace or the wittiness of Sue Perkins but he came across as a competent presenter. There was a lack of real tension in the programme though. As brewing takes time each pair had to go home to brew every beer so there wasn't the ticking clock adding time pressure to the proceedings, except in one episode where the additional task they're given with each challenge was actually to cook a meal. 

The involvement of Global brewing giant ABInBev also loomed over the programme. Each episode one of their breweries is visited to discuss different beer styles and staff from there are involved in the judging. 

And I thought I was the only Nestorbrewer

Mostly it doesn't jar, but there was one particularly clunky moment when James Blunt parrots propaganda about Stella Artois originating as a "gift to the people of Leuven". I suppose it was hoping too much to wish he'd added "... thought it's known as Wife Beater over here". 

In the press releases bit of the IBD magazine under the heading "Budweiser Brewing Group unveils search to find Europe's next best beer" they have a quote from from Diya Munir, ABInBev European Experiential & Entertainment Marketing Manager saying: 

"At ABInBev we are proud to showcase some of the biggest brands in brewing, which have brought people together sharing positive experiences for many years. This new format aims to entertain our audience rather than interrupt them whilst celebrating the craftsmanship which goes into brewing." 

"The craft beer scene has never been more exciting. Beer Masters is a celebration of the thriving craft beer scene and aims to showcase the amazing creations and innovations coming out from the industry. It also offers insights and leading industry advice from the breweries which crate some of the most popular beers in Europe". 

This does make the whole thing sound suspiciously like a long advert but still, it was nice to see a new beer programme on telly and I've long been a fan of ABInBev's marketing budget, having enjoyed a few piss ups at their expense. 


  1. (Arrived from Boak & Bailey's link)
    As a consumer, not a brewer, I mainly enjoyed it, the two british lads clearly hoping to be the next Hairy Bikers and the Dutch couple in particular.
    What I did struggle with was the lack of technical info. Trying to explain what a refractometer is to my wife sent me scurrying to google and the judges talking about off flavours without explaining why/how they were happening was frustrating, would've liked more on that side of it...

    1. That's interesting, as a technical person myself I thought more technical stuff would bore non-technical people.