Wine vs Beer for your event- You Decide!

Wine is the traditional beverage of choice for evening events, but beer is becoming a more and more powerful culinary force. We love to celebrate local British produce, but as the UK can now lay claim to great home-grown wine and beer industries, that doesn’t give us any help in choosing between the two!

Next month we’ll be talking to some of our expert friends and taking a close look at ways that you can match wine or beer to festive treats for a delicious Christmas. Whether you’re eating canapés or a classic Christmas dinner, somewhere out there is your meal’s perfect wine or beer partner, and we will help you find it.

So, we’d like to know which is more popular with our event booker friends. To help you decide, we’ve made a quick run-down/recap of the trends affecting the industries and their incredible growth over the last few years.

The Case for British Wine

Following a difficult 2013 (and a disastrous 2012!) this year has been a great one for English wine, with bumper crops across the country. So there’s loads of delicious varieties available to try right now – it’s easy to see why the industry is receiving such acclaim.

In the last year alone support for our wine industry has swelled, with the number of growers increasing by half and the media awash with reports of the English wine “renaissance”. We now have a total of 135 commercial vineyards, and the highest ever area of land dedicated to wine. 90% of the grapes grown are white, and 66% of all wine produced is sparkling.

The industry was once the butt of many jokes, but now even famous wine-enthusiast and expert Jilly Goolden has been known to mistake English wine for French in a blind test – and show preference for many of the English varieties!

It should be no surprise that our sparkling wine is receiving such a favourable reception – the soil in much of England, particularly the South, is remarkably similar to that found in the Champagne region of France. We also enjoy(!) very similar weather conditions in the South, so there’s no reason why we should not be able to produce world-class bubbly.

Neighbour to our venue Wakehurst Place, Nyetimber has its vineyards in West Sussex, and is gradually becoming a household name. There are so many up and coming wineries to look out for. Many have vines which are just beginning to come into production so we can only wait and see who will be the next big thing.

There is a reason why wine is the traditional accompaniment to dinner and why we break out the bubbly when there’s something to celebrate. Beer is great, but wine really makes an occasion. Add fizz and it’s a special one!

English wine is an exciting, growing industry and we should all be very proud to support it. It certainly doesn’t hurt buy valium online england that it is delicious too!

The Case for British Beer

If drinking beer is not a Great British Pastime, then I don’t know what is.

This distinctly British beverage has a proud history in the UK, and the last few years have seen it gain a whole new lease of life. Breweries and micro-breweries are popping up all over the place – in fact, the UK now has more breweries than at any other time in the last 70 years.

It’s not uncommon to now be able to pop to your local to enjoy a local pint! It’s exciting to drink a glass of Meantime beer at the Old Royal Naval College, knowing that it was made, almost literally, just down the road.

The image of ale as an “old man’s drink” has well and truly faded. It is exploding in popularity and is now a big hit with younger drinkers. In addition, it is now looked at as less of a basic commodity and more of a gourmet beverage. It no longer sounds strange to say you’re going for a beer tasting evening. Of course, with beer’s lower alcohol content, under 4% in some cases, you can taste plenty without having to spit it out or worry about how you’ll feel the next morning.

In his recent article for Shortlist, our friend Pete Brown, who helped us create our Art of Beer package says:

“Something rather spectacular is going on down the pub … There’s a revolution going on. Away from football sponsorship and mainstream media, beer has been reinventing itself. Across the country, small breweries are refreshing, reviving and reinventing beer as we know it.”

Due to the relative infancy of the industry, English wine still tends to come at a premium, so it is best kept for special occasions or for those who can afford to splash out. One of the things that makes beer so great is that it is for everybody.

Beer also has a certain novelty and fun factor that you just don’t get with wine – for instance, right now the shops are just full of pumpkin beers for Halloween. And if you want something really different, you can look to the likes of Brains Craft Brewery, who create drinks like the “A-Pork-Alypse”, a delicious double chocolate and bacon porter. This craft style makes it a wonderful accompaniment to the artisan food scene that is now so popular, and it’s this kind of innovation that creates a real buzz and makes a well-stocked ale festival so exciting.

Beer is very exciting and very now – by choosing it for your event, you are making a real statement, as well as providing something really tasty to drink.

So what do you think? Are you team wine or team beer? Vote now and a case of English wine or craft beer could be with you next week!


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