Tuesday, 4 September 2007


I caught the end of University Challenge last night. I was gobsmacked when Jeremy Paxman asked a series of questions on beer styles. Unbelievably, the swotty students had no bloody idea in which German city the wheat called Weisse and "the champagne of the North" was brewed. What is the education system coming to?

I've been inspired to ask a beer-related question myself. You should see it in the sidebar to the left. What do you think? Where is the most exciting beer in the world brewed?

After a comment from a reader, I realised that I had missed the USA off the original list. As some votes were already in, it wouldn't be fair to just add it on the end. Instead I've added a second question.

It's too early to see any pattern to the voting yet, but this is my prediction:

  1. Lithuania
  2. Wales
  3. Slovenia

I think the voting will be much closer on the North American version. This is just a wild guess:

  1. The States
  2. Puerto Rico
  3. USB

Pleaase vote. But you have to promise to only vote once. Otherwise the whole scientific basis will be destroyed.


Maarten said...

You left out Belgium....

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this is all in good fun, but I can't help but be reminded of the terrible multiple-choice tests I was forced to take in college. They were offensively easy. One answer would be the "right" one (as if it is ever so simple--I'd rather take an essay question any day), while the rest were essentially lures for idiots. And to add insult to injury, my fellow U.S. posters on BeerAdvocate.com demanded that the U.S. be a choice! That tells you loads about the education system over here.

Ron Pattinson said...

Josquin, you're prefectly right in your comparison - there is one right answer and it's ridiculously easy to work out.

Stonch said...

I don't see North Korea on that list. They brew some really corkers there.

Ron Pattinson said...

I'm really, really upset.

Really upset. Shocked, saddened and a little bit disgusted.

Hang on, I have to wipe away the tears. That's better.

I posted on BeerAdvocate pointing at this prestigious poll and guess what happened? It was deleted and I got this sweet little note from Jason:

"Please don't pimp your blog in our forum ... "

God the shame of it all. Being accused of being a pimp. I know the Alstrom brothers would never pimp anything, like a magazine or something, themselves. How can I ever live this down?

Ron Pattinson said...

Stonch, I can't include everywhere. I had to miss out a few other famous brewing nations, like Togo and Bhutan. More than eight choices and it just wouldn't be serious.

Loren said...

Exciting beer these days has got to be brewed in countries solely driven by not adhering to any style guidelines whatsoever...right?

Seriously...you want exciting? Check out Fal Allen's blog on his brewing adventures in Singapore.


Knut Albert said...

Pimp it on ratebeer instead. I get away with it if I don't do it too often!

The Beer Nut said...

Didn't Paxo get it wrong on the second question: that Oktoberfestbier isn't actually Märzen, but a style all its own? I confess I didn't get the third question quick enough: the city on the Danube whose dark lagers were ousted in popularity by pilsner. For shame.

Stonch said...

Ron - you if you'd titled your post "What's in your fridge" and signed off with a hearty "Hell yeah!" you would have been fine. You're just too uncool for that particular school.

I'm off to make some Stonch bumper stickers and baseball caps.

Ron Pattinson said...

Maerzen/Oktoberfest are they the same style? Beer Nut, I think you've been stalking me. This is one of my favourite arguing topics - how did you know that?

Quick answer - yes.

And no. It depends what you think Maerzen is.

(I think the 18th century version of Maerzen is the only authentic one.)

Ron Pattinson said...

Stonch can tou send me some of your bumper stickers, please? I may have a car sometime in the future. I could even learn how to drive it. You never know.

Stonch said...

I can't drive either, nor do I have any intention of playing baseball. I just can't resist promotional material.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

When we were setting up SOBA ( Society Of Beer Advocates, NZ's version of CAMRA)we had a run in with the Alstrom brothers, it seems they think they have a copywrite to the word Advocate. Very territorial, very confrontational, very American.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

By the way you left out England, nought more exciting.

Lachlan said...

Loren - I don't mean to be bitchy but the beers at Archipelago were some of the most disturbingly overspiced things I've ever tried. Disturbing is the only way I can describe it - not badly brewed otherwise, just.... weird. Brewerkz is the star in Singapore IMO.

I'd vote for Vietnam were it an option. I've never been but there are reportedly ~300 mostly Czech-style brewpubs. That's my next beer trip for sure.

Ron Pattinson said...

Kieran, I excluded all the countries where I've lived. Hence no England. Or Australia.

Loren said...

lachlan...when compared to the exotic food there is it really out of place though? I just applauf Fal Allen for trying, at least. Some oddball stuff for sure.

And Vietnam? Really? Huh.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the number of votes in the North American version is very embarrassing.

Kieran: It was probably more about "Beer Advocate" than just "advocate," don't you think?

Stonch said...

Very interesting that the Alstrom brothers want to try and make a legal claim over the term "Beer Advocate", especially considering you're in a different country in which they aren't even active. That says a lot.

Steve said...

I've come late to this very (yawn, yawn) interesting discussion as I'm currently holidaying in Canada, the intelligent bit of North America, just to the north of the Land of the Dim, Home of the Scared Shitless.

I've 2 comments to make.

1. Shouldn't Canada feature in the potential award winners? and

2. Isn't Alstrom a Civil Engineering firm that's currently effing up our railways in the U.K?

As I've just traveled out of Quebec into Ontario I don't feel the need to translate this into French.

Ron Pattinson said...

Steve, to answer your questions:

1. Yes. And it does (check out choice number 2.

2. Yes. But I think there are a few individuals out there with the same name. Confusing, I know.

Steve said...

Sorry Ron, I was reading your predictions rather than the choices.

I think I prefer Alstrom b****ring up our railways than their namesakes pontificating on beer.

Steve said...

I meant to include in my last post "How can anyone such as Beer Advocate purporting to be a beer drinker's 'must-see' web site confuse Anheuser-Busch with a brewery?"

Ron Pattinson said...

Steve, I'm more concerned by Beer Advocate's inability to get even basic facts right. Here's how they describe Oktoberfest:

"The common Munich Oktoberfest beer served at Wies’n contains only 4.5% alcohol by volume, is dark/copper in color, has a mild hop profile and is typically labeled as a Bavarian Märzenbier in style – an amber lager with bottom fermenting yeast at 45º-55ºF."