The Top Gear of brewing... that is what Dave wants and he hit the nail on the head for me. The trouble with all these workplace reality shows is that they are big infomercials and controlled by the suppliers to make themselves look great. BBC's Top Gear motoring show? If you don't appear on it, your car is nothing. If your car appears on it and is panned, your car is less than nothing. It dares you to be great. It dares you to convince critics and members of the public. That is what I want in a TV show about beer. By all accounts, Beer Masters was good but not ideal - no harm in that. But it's no Top Beer.
The prizes have been coming in at a good pace. I need more but here is the full slate to date:
- Joe Stange, author of Thirsty Pilgrim asked "would a signed copy of Around Brussels in 80 Beers be acceptable prize fodder?" and I said yes. So that's great. It's a booky Christmas so far.
- Lew Bryson, who can be found at Seen Through a Glass is giving away a signed newly revised fourth edition of Pennsylvania Breweries to a deserving beer photo nerd.
- Zak Avery, British Guild of Beer Writers' Writer of the Year 2008, of both Are You Tasting the Pith? as well as the Beer Ritz beer shop of Leeds, England has confirmed that "we can fill a small Jiffy bag with tat and send it out, no problem" - which is great, especially as he is running his own contest now for an amazing prize, a bottle of Greene King 1937 Coronation Ale.
- Pete Brown, British Guild of Beer Writers' Writer of the Year 2009 has provided a full set of his complete beer writings in paperback, autographed. He touched them. You will, too.
- Martyn Cornell: his latest book Amber, Gold and Black. Cornish White? You have no idea. Martyn does.
- Beau's: a gorgeous XXL black heavy grade bowling shirt tag attacked with embroidered patches and.. stuff.
- Dave Selden has placed a 33 Beers prize pack on the table... but there may not be 33 actual beers in the box. Just sayin'.
- The kind people at All About Beer have offered four subscriptions... again... because they are so nice. And they will publish the winning photo again because editor Julie Johnson said so. She likes what you are up to. Did you know that?
- Tami Kennedy of Shipyard Brewing in Maine, one of my dearest and oldest craft beer friends, has offered three t-shirts. T-shirts you say? I have some of the most... (give me a minute)... nicest... (sniff)... most comfortable... best fitting...t-shirts ever... from them. You want one.
- TAPS magazine and our pal Troy Burtch has given two subscriptions for TAPS, a t-shirt, a Canadian Brewing Awards glass and a number of Ontario Pub Books by Bill Perrie and - though, I am not clear on this - maybe a 16th interest in a poorly maintained 1971 Chevy Nova -to a deserving Canadian winner.
That is much. Almost a lot. Not too much. And I won a prize today myself. Did I tell you? A prize that is much coveted by me except now it isn't because I have it. A case of Orval. What for? For being me on a Monday as far as I can tell.
Finally for today - a few more entries. Mark Michalski of Owings Mills, Maryland sent in these five photo including a parade of beer in snow.
Jeph Stahl of Grimsby, Ontario forwarded these three including a beer apparently undergoing electrocution:
And Brian Stechschulte of San Francisco, California and the man behind All Over Beer submitted these five entries from the Pacific coast:
Another great set of photos that include some real challengers for a number of categories that I have, you know, yet to figure out. I am sure they will make sense. Or will appear to make sense. I think I can promise a sense-like appearance. Sure I can.