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Beer, but isn't that so very... blue collar?!
I've only just had time to properly digest this column from Susy Atkins at the Telegraph and the more I read it the more it irritates me immensely!

Opening with comments about the beer community being 'very pushy indeed' - you can almost hear her sighing her annoyance at the little people.

It's as if she's writing this piece to stop these annoying beer flies buzzing around so that she, and the rest of the grown ups, can all get back to the serious business of wine.

Yes, she throws a few crumbs out there about beer and food working, but it's always backed up by a little snipe 'wine's more versatile' that totally undermines any credibility or belief the casual reader should have in the piece or the assertion that beer and food match.

So, I've got a question for you Susy... Why is it so pushy to ask for a fair shout for our national drink, nay the world's favourite alcoholic beverage, on our national broadcaster? And why is it currently so roundly ignored?

I appreciate you've got professional territory to protect, you are employed by Saturday Kitchen to offer wine matches and no beer lover is suggesting you chuck a portion of your income out the window, just for beer to be allowed a fair showing - is that too much to ask?

Also, 'brew and stew'? Really? That's the best you can come up with? Why not go all out and call it 'pie & pint'? Or, when you use phrases like that, you might as well just say 'the commoner's drink'.

The inference that beer is somehow a crude tool when matched to food is simply nonsense.

I've worked with chefs to pair everything from seared foie gras to the finest Vacherin and delicate scallop sashimi to the most ephemeral chocolate soufflé, that's how versatile beer is and I can back up that statement - I notice you've not bothered to justify yours to any of the people who have politely asked you about it in the comments section.

Just last night I was working with a chef who was, when I met him, a self-confessed lager boy; a few menu planning sessions later and now he can't get enough of Brasserie Pietra's Colomba, loves Goose Island IPA, went mad for Aspall's Peronelle's Blush and is seriously in love with trying new brews when he goes out now (can't get him to like anything dark yet mind you, but I'm working on it!).

And it's not just chefs, every sommelier I've ever known has always said that cheese and chocolate are two of the biggest challenges they face when it comes to wine matches and, more and more, they are turning to beers like Rochefort 10, Harviestoun Ola Dubh, Dark Island Reserve, Fuller's Vintage, Sharp's Chalky's Bite, Otley O8, Marble Ginger and Brooklyn Chocolate Stout as the perfect alternatives!

So perhaps, Ms Atkins, rather than dismissing something you're clearly either threatened or underwhelmed by, you should stick to writing about wine and be honest with your commissioning editors and ask them to get someone else to do the beer writing.