beer in fiction / tv

Saturday Kitchen — why no beer?

Chef James Martin and his trademark lecherous leer.

Inspired by Pete Brown’s excellent letter to the Independent, we decided to drop the BBC a line and ask why their hugely popular Saturday Kitchen cookery show hardly ever mentions beer. With the 350 characters we were given, we said:

Saturday Kitchen is great and I’m a regular viewer. But I’m getting frustrated because, while wine is discussed every week, it’s very rare to hear anything about beer. There are loads of interesting, complex beers around, that go well with food; and lots of people in the UK prefer beer to wine. Please suggest some beer and food pairings in future.

With hindsight, we don’t think “great” is quite the word we were after, but we always like to start with something positive when we’re writing nutty letters of complaint.

Seriously, though — would it kill them to schedule five minutes every couple of weeks for someone like Pete to talk about beer? We’d much rather have beer treated as part of the mainstream like that than sit through another Oz and James cackfest.

We don’t hate wine or people that drink wine but we are much more interested in beer.

14 replies on “Saturday Kitchen — why no beer?”

It’s the usual stuff, I guess.
Wine = sophisticated drink
Beer = working class drink

There is another thing as well. Ask the average person what words do they associate with wine and you will get vintage, varietals, harvest, terroir and other similar things with a pretty poetic meaning. Ask the same person what words do the associate with beer and you will likely get a brand or a slogan. One more thing we have the macros to thank for.

Now, add to the mix the fact that most people in the specialised media don’t know the first thing about beer, and there you have the results.

You know Market Kitchen (yet another cackfest) – although it occasionally has beer on it – replaced a show called Great Food Live or something – well, that had beer on it all the time, usually being talked thorugh with great zest by Rupert Ponsonby. that made a refrshing chance. Actually, Market Kitchen’s not bad…i’m being unfair.

Market Kitchen is OK. We couldn’t watch Great Food Live because of the dreadful woman who used to present it. You know, the one who shouted the whole time.

ahh i think wine is sophisticated but beer is fun and its definately a drink for the summer, much more men prefere it and by the looks of things women are starting to aswell.

I was watching it a few weeks ago when they had Neil Morrisey on along with Madhur Jaffrey and Jason Atherton. Unsurprsingly I didn’t feel Morrisey did much for beer and really felt it was a missed opportunity when they were matching up wines with some asian inspired dishes, rather than offering what might have been a more appropriate good beer pairing. A token mention of beer was made but it’s a real shame they did not offer a specific example and explain why an IPA might be more suitable.

My wife just picked me up a copy of the second issue of Jamie Oliver’s new magazine, and I see it’s got a wine feature. While I like Jamie, he’s one of a million chefs that treat and define beer in the macro way.

I don’t even ask for a separate segment on TV shows or column in magazines on beer (Give us a show or two among the droves). What I’d like to see is simply a wine and beer recommendation for for each recipe offered in whatever medium. With as many food shows as there are, and magazines, that would do a good service in a fairly subliminal way. Toss in the odd feature or show and the world would get a little better.

What TV chefs often do — and this is infuriating — is offer very specific wine recommendations and then casually say “or a nice cold lager”. Sometimes it’s even just “a nice cold beer”. Grrr.

“Beer = working class drink”

Cask ale is a middle class drink, and people know it. Indeed when I installed extra handpumps and started pushing ales at my place I had a few chippy comments from customers (now mainly ex-customers) who thought I was trying to posh the place up. I was.

“people know it” – that fact doesn’t seem to have reached everyone, only observant existing pub-goers will have noticed, many wine-drinkers clearly haven’t

boak – yeah, you had to turn the volume down! The only beer related peice I have seen on MK was a belgian blind tasting, and that was with Melissa. I have yet to see Pete Brown on there (if he has been on, i knew it was in the pipeline).

…and thinking on, i guess you could say that all of our efforts in the blogworld ( sounds nice, doesnt it?) are simply to get beer ‘out there’. We do what we can…!

[…] aside: Boak and Bailey were inspired by Pete Brown’s letter to the Independent to write to the BBC and ask why beer […]

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