ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beer, beer and more beer

If I'm ever going to OD on beer, it'll probably happen this week.

Let's face it, I've already had a fairly beery weekend, the GBBF starts today and I'm armed with a season ticket and a hitlist, and last night was the fantastic British Guild of Beer Writers 25th birthday event which meant unlimited free beer.

That's right. Unlimited free beer - almost all of it very rare and much of it very strong (like the 10.7% Fuller's 'Imperial Stout' brewed in collaboration with a Guild member and with 'dry-rosebudded' with, err, rosebuds.)

It was basically a help-yourself beer festival in a room full of celebrities from the beer world, and life doesn't get much better than that. Even Roger Protz's speech wasn't as bad as I feared - I think he only said 'Socialism' twice, and Vegetarianism didn't even get a mention!

Free beer for beer writers. That's worth writing about!
I finally got to meet Tim Webb with whom I had a healthy exchange of words on the cask vs keg debate in the pages of London Drinker. (Contrary to my expectations, all the beers on were cask. Even Thornbridge 'Calver' which is normally only available in keg! Like I said, rarities abound.)

Baby of the House

I was almost certainly the newest member of the 220-strong guild, having only signed up a few days previously, but I'd been intending to join for several years, and that's worth free beer, right?

On the basis of last night's sterling hospitality I wish I'd done so years ago, even if my normally robust constitution felt a little delicate this morning and the thought of several successive nights at the GBBF filled me with trepidation.

So, the final results of the Pub of the Year will have to wait for a few more days. It'll increase the tension, I'm sure.

And as for the 5:2 diet, I think we're going to have to write off this week and fit in a couple of extra fasts in the future - the energy I get from beer calories alone this week will be capable of powering all the electric chairs in Texas.

So now, it's off to the GBBF I go. First pint: Texas Brewery 'Electric Chair IPA' (78.5%).

Well, maybe.

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