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!
ʼʼ

Monday, May 13, 2019

Lost Breweries: I is for Ind Coope

The lists of quarterly Guest Ales in Wetherspoons don't tend to be particularly interesting these days.

In a world where most of us know where to go for limited-release barrel-aged sour or a Bretted Imperial IPA, it might be comforting to know that there's a Spoons somewhere (or rather, there are Spoons everywhere) serving Kelham Island Pale Rider this month, but it really isn't news.

That said, there is something that caught my eye in the April-June, for which I shall keep an eye out. Burton Bridge brewery's Draught Burton Ale at 4.8%.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Dear Mr. Vernon...

It's been a while since my intrepid search to find the best breakfast around turned up any new savoury evidence. Well, let's be brutally honest, it's been a while since I blogged about absolutely fucking anything, isn't it?

So, let's do a quick Brekkie review. Specifically The Breakfast Club, where I breakfasted last week. On my birthday. 42, since you asked. Getting old.

Anyway, 'The Club' has several locations across the capital, from Battersea to Hoxton as well as Oxford and Brighton, all of which should give you a general idea of where they are coming from and what sort of market they are after. (Possibly not 42 year olds, even if it is their birthday.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cask 2019: Why it rocked; Why it sucked

I had some fantastic beers at the weekend.

To be more specific, I had some fantastic beers between 6 and 11 PM on Saturday at Testbed1 under railway arches in Bermondsey. Beers that, for the most part, will never be seen again anywhere, at any other time. And, fairly obviously, that is part of the problem.

I absolutely loved the Cask 2019 beer festival, if indeed one can call a one-day event, divided into two sessions a 'festival'. I appreciated the beers immensely, and several of them will go down as some of my favourites of 2019. But we have a problem here. And in attempting to outline some of the underlying issues facing the beer industry in 2019, the organisers have only served to create further problems. In a sense.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

When Porky met Curry

What's the best option when eating out? Indian, right?

What's the best roasted meat? Pork, right?

Why can't you get curried pork in Indian restaurants? That would be the most amazing thing ever, right?

It is, however, even in this age of every-conceivable-fusion, still remarkably rare. Never the twain shall met. Which is a bit odd. I know there is a cultural and religious explanation, but it's a lazy one, and under scrutiny it doesn't  really make a whole lot of sense.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Golden Pints: BV's best beers of 2018

So, another year over and we're all a bit closer to the merciful release of death...

2018 was a moderately eventful period for beer. Brewdog and Cloudwater grabbed the headlines by returning to cask production; Brut IPA became the next big thing; sales of real ale slumped somewhat alarmingly and the CAMRA Revitalization Project, two years in the making, turned out to be something of a non-event.

Meanwhile ordinary people like me continued to drink beer every day and obsessively keep a record of it.

I managed pints of 623 new cask beers in 2018, bringing my overall total to just short of 9100 and every tickers' big target is now neatly in sight if I can up my game a little in 2019.