Bensoir! It's me, Benjamin. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You may have read stuff I've written elsewhere, but here on my own blog as Ben Viveur I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others, so pretty much anything goes.

BV is about enjoying real food and drink in the real world. I showcase 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. And as a critic 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 3, 2021

Every ABV: 8.5 to 10.5%

And so we reach the fourth (and, for now, final) part of the 'Every ABV' series. I know you're all eager to find out my favourite cask beers at higher strengths, so let's crack right on with it.

8.5% -  Big Smoke The Judge

So many breweries have appeared in Greater London over the past decade that some are often overlooked. The Antelope in Surbiton - former home of Big Smoke brewery - won my 2017-2018 London Pub of the Year award which hopefully went some small way to putting them on the map, even if the name 'Big Smoke' is possibly a tad misleading. Surbiton is a long way from the square mile; Esher even further! And as for the beer, well it's a big, juicy DIPA with plenty of Citra and Simcoe hops, just the way I like 'em.