As a beer enthusiast I have been asked the question many times. What is my favourite beer? I always gauge that the person asking me the question think that I rate beer on a fixed set of parameters. This would be true if it was a different question like what are your favourite brand of crisps? The obvious answer is Kettle chips. The same with Sainsbury’s own tomato ketchup, in my opinion the best one going. Leeks are the best vegetable, but asparagus and mushrooms are close contenders. Samsung do better phones than Apple, Branston make better baked beans than Heinz but Shortbread are the finest form of biscuits without question.
Then again with beer a similar deduction process to select one all superior brew isn’t possible. It maybe could be if I only ever drank a narrow range of beers like say cask blonde ales or mega brand lagers but no. By this point in Rob’s Beer Quest I have turned more to rating a beer experience as a moment or experience as much as it is a beer.
Take for example the first time I tried Rochefort 10. For Rochefort 10 to be my favourite beer I have to compare it to other inspirational moments like discovering Pliny the Elder. But Rochefort and Pliny can’t really be compared. That’s like steak vs pizza, both are very different. What I also notice about these occasional perfect beer moments is that they are rarely the same second time round. Sometimes the beer has changed or you are just in a different moment but other times a beer can be better on second tasting. But inevitably the answer to the question ends with a no, there is no favourite beer or greatest beer in the world. Often I may attempt to brew the greatest beer in the world at work but I know it won’t be, it would just be a tribute. Like the greatest song in the world, a matter of opinion.