The new episode of NZ Craft Beer TV is up. The break between episode’s has been so long that I had nearly forgotten how enjoyable they were, but it didn’t take long to refresh my memory. Through the camera, we get to meet the country’s brewers and publicans and see inside their breweries and pubs. We can also gaze at their raw ingredients – in the latest episode manuka tips! – and get an insight into why brewers do what they do (it’s their passion).
While NZ Craft Beer TV is immensely satisfying, I found myself greedily wanting a little something more, a tiny bit extra. I know the program is aimed at a general audience and I craved something a little bit more…geeky. Almost like a 200 level uni course, rather than the intro 100 level. Then it hit me – we should make Beer QI.
For those of you who have never watched QI (and jee whiz have you been missing out), QI stands for Quite Interesting and it’s a BBC comedy quiz show. The legendary Stephen Fry is the host, dispensing wisdom and laughs in equal measure, and there are four panellists, usually British stand-up comedians or actors and always including Alan Davies. Topics include everything under the sun and then some. It is simply the easiest and most enjoyable way to absorb interesting (but mostly useless) information.
In beer and brewing there is a lot of interesting (but mostly useless) information and I want to know more about it. The show could discuss the little known Lambics, odd monastery brews, and all the quirks of beer history. Sure, it’d be a bitch to research and we’d probably get complaints every week about stuff that was slightly incorrect, but it’d be massively interesting. And think how good the General Ignorance section would be.
A big part of the show is the guests and I can’t imagine we’d be short on talent there. For Phill Jupitus, think Neil Miller; Dara O Briain, Grieg McGill; Bill Bailey, Stu McKinlay – the list can go on. But who would take the lead role of Stephen Fry? Can you have QI without Fry? (Or maybe he’d host it for us while he’s down here?) Fry’s replacement would need to be incredibly knowledgeable, well-spoken, and able to keep the guests under control. I asked the great wisdom that is Twitter and received several good suggestions. Phil Cook’s a possibility and hopefully we’d get George Langlands as Alan Davies into the bargain. Keiran Haslett-Moore is a wealth of information on styles and history. Kelly Ryan would also be good, an absolute goldmine of facts on flavours and brewing. Lastly, there’s Geoff Griggs, who’s very knowledge, funny and (as I’ve seen from SOBA committee members) could keep the panellists more or less on topic. However, I don’t think I have the skills to be picking a new Fry.
It would be great entertainment, Beer QI. But it would also be a nightmare to organise, research, and choose a new Fry. Best we all just go back to watching NZ Craft Beer TV. Once Episode 9 hits 500 views, Luke says he’ll release the next one – a fair more achievable goal.