CAMRA

Jul. 1st, 2007 07:47 pm
johncoxon: (Default)
[personal profile] johncoxon
Following a column in the latest edition of Beer, one of CAMRA's national newsletters, I felt compelled to write a letter to the editor (although of What's Brewing, since Beer has no letters page) about the action of drinking beer with an Indian meal. I happen to enjoy drinking Cobra with an Indian meal, personally, but I am aware that this is not the way the Indians do it. Here follows the letter:

"Upon reading Jeff Evans' column, 'Ruby goes bananas for better beer' (Beer, July 2007) I felt compelled to write a letter to your column about it. I took a chum of mine, Richard, to a proper Indian restaurant near to me recently and whilst he ordered lassi, a traditional Indian drink, I ordered Cobra, which earned me a funny look.

"Later on in the evening, he explained to me that the waiters at a restaurant called Chamelee, in Leicester, which has won numerous awards for its food, advised him that in India, the drinking of alcohol with a meal is an extremely rare occurence, and that one should not drink beer or wine with any food whilst in an Indian restaurant. This is backed up by the Wikipedia article on Indian cuisine, which clearly says, "However the practice of drinking a beverage with a meal, or wine and food matching, is not traditional or common in India."

"In the light of this, I would advise him to try drinking lassi, or perhaps Indian tea, with his curry, as it will match the food he is eating better than the beers he sampled will."

Date: 2007-07-01 07:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nairoz.livejournal.com
Surely that's not quite the point, as CAMRA are generally all about the beer. It'd kind of go against their beliefs to pimp anything that wasn't beer, wouldn't it?

Also, this is the first time I've posted a comment that's actually checked my spelling as I type.

It's really sodding annoying.

Date: 2007-07-01 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johncoxon.livejournal.com
CAMRA are all about the beer, yes, but that's no reason to promote drinking it in the wrong situations. Why is it checking your spelling? My version of Firefox doesn't check mine, and I'm running 2.0.0.4.

Date: 2007-07-01 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nairoz.livejournal.com
Fair point. I wonder why they wrote it in the first place, what exactly did they say, just pointing out beers that they feel work with Indian food?

Date: 2007-07-01 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johncoxon.livejournal.com
It was a regular column and was inspired by a day Coors held in London to try different beers with different curries.

Date: 2007-07-01 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nairoz.livejournal.com
Hmm. I can understand that, because hell, just because it isn't traditional (or common) doesn't mean it isn't a good idea. Doing something just because "it's always been done this way" or isn't common doesn't mean it's the best idea - try something new today!

This is how I discovered jam and cheese on toast, incidentally.

Date: 2007-07-01 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johncoxon.livejournal.com
I, as I said above, subscribe to that school of thought. Traditionally, Yorkshire Puddings should not be eaten with a meal but a huge one should be eaten on its own with gravy, but I like the small ones that go with a meal because it's damn good shit. But if someone's going to get arsey about things, I'll be arsey back!

Date: 2007-07-01 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noahismyidol.livejournal.com
I just googled Yorkshire Pudding. I thought it was a dessert. I know stand corrected.

Date: 2007-07-01 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] archaro.livejournal.com
Couldn't agree more. However, in this case, I find that the taste of the beer spoils the taste of the food, and vice versa. Especially 'fizzy' beers (which are bad and wrong). Yuck.

Salted lassi is the perfect compliment to an Indian meal, especially if it is very spicy. It takes some getting used to, though. I never used to like it, but I was bulliedpersuaded by my partner on numerous occasions to have it instead of beer. Eventually I grew to prefer it. These days, I dislike beer or wine with an Indian meal.

After the meal is another matter entirely. :)

Date: 2007-07-01 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noahismyidol.livejournal.com
That's pretty nifty that you wrote them. Are you looking for a response or just for it to printed or something?


Off topic: I really dislike beer. But then again, everytime we talk, I seem to dislike a lot of foods/drinks. I like vodka, does that count? :P

Date: 2007-07-01 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johncoxon.livejournal.com
You live in the USA, what beers have you actually had? Coors, Millers and Bud don't actually count as beer, at least, any member of CAMRA wouldn't count 'em.

Date: 2007-07-01 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noahismyidol.livejournal.com
This is true...

Our beers taste like piss. Send me some good beer please. Don't worry, I won't tell that you sent alcohol to an underage drinker. :D

Date: 2007-07-01 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johncoxon.livejournal.com
Gotta love the insanity of the US drinking laws... I'm a full legal adult and I'm two years younger than you!

Date: 2007-07-01 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noahismyidol.livejournal.com
Don't I know! It's ridiculous. I've been drinking since I was 15, and now at almost 20, I'm still not old or responsible enough to drink? I can drive, die for my country, earn a degree, BUT NOO OMG DON'T DRINK. Pfft screw you America!

Date: 2007-07-01 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noahismyidol.livejournal.com
Ohh and on a side note: When I was 16 and I went to Europe for 2 weeks(through my school), I still wasn't allowed to drink, even though it was legal there.

Date: 2007-07-01 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nairoz.livejournal.com
When I was 16 and went to Budapest for a week, on a school trip with my economics class, we went to a brewery, and got free beer.

Then we went to a bar with our teachers and got ratarsed, complete with one of the teachers getting up on the table and doing the David Brent dance.

Hell, even Europe's SCHOOLS are better! :P

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Date: 2007-07-01 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nairoz.livejournal.com
You can't fight for your country very well when you're off your face.

Maybe this is what they're trying to avoid?

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Date: 2007-07-01 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nairoz.livejournal.com
Why is American beer* served cold?

So you can tell the difference between it and urine.

By "beer" I mean "weak near frozen gnat's piss"

Date: 2007-07-01 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noahismyidol.livejournal.com
So wait, it's not suppose to be served cold? I never knew this...It's always advertised as ICE COLD BEER. That's it, I'm moving to Europe.

Date: 2007-07-01 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nairoz.livejournal.com
In my opinion, beer's meant to be cool, but not really ICE COLD, as when it's ice cold, what can you taste? It just freezes your tongue!

But then, I grew up in Kent... actual beer country... none of this lager nonsense!

And yes, join us. You know it's the right choice.

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Date: 2007-07-01 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johncoxon.livejournal.com
No, American beer is served cold, as well as lager, but real ale (the type of which CAMRA is trying to protect) should be served between ten and twelve degrees Celsius.

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Date: 2007-07-02 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reverendjim.livejournal.com
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout on the other hand...

Date: 2007-07-02 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johncoxon.livejournal.com
There are several American beers I'd love to give a try... :D

Date: 2007-07-02 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reverendjim.livejournal.com
I'm currently working my way through the beer in this book. About 40 of them are from the US, and I suspect quite a few of them are going to be rather hard to track down. I've had some very nice ones though, and also some very impressive stuff in brew pubs when I've been over there.

Date: 2007-07-01 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamesb.livejournal.com
thats a good letter, sorta puts it up to camra, who are about doing things properly, that they should ascribe such an attitude across the board.

I like it.

J

Date: 2007-07-02 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarah-mum.livejournal.com
Speaking of fine ales - should you be at a loose end this weekend, you could always come to my beer festival :0)
http://www.samsfriends-chelt.org/

I'm on the offical tasting committee - it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

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