tom cruise looks a bit like neil morrissey here...

Neil Morrissey’s Risky Business, the everyday tale of celeb beer brewing (and how peed off must Richard Fox be that he’s not in the title?) might be exactly the sort of programme you’d expect us here at FT to be interested in, and we are, but mainly due to our EXCITING CAMEO in said programme! In programme two about 35 minutes in, a focus group is used and there, holding forth on the palatability of their brew is Pete, with me sitting silently (in the clip anyway) behind him.

The important thing to note about the Morrissey-Fox Blonde is that it may be the most tasteless ale I’ve ever had. It makes Discovery taste like Westmalle Triple, it’s about half a step above tap water in the complexity stakes. Before arriving at the focus group (which we knew was being filmed but not why) I had two theories, either it was going to be some sort of celeb beer or that it was ALCOHOL-FREE ALE and for about the first five minutes I honestly thought it was the latter, it has that slight bready taste you get from kaliber.

And Morrissey thinks this blandness is a good thing because like Dan Brown, Indiana Jones and Monty Python before him he is searching for THE HOLY GRAIL, a bitter that lager drinkers will buy. It is an entirely fruitless* task, it’s like trying to get football obsessives into rugby, or indie kids into heavy metal (Oi isn’t heavy metal) because although to the outsider they appear to share similar characteristics and though there may be a few outliers who cross over, they are entirely different beasts and, when you have a microbrewery that can only make three barrels a week, why would you even want to go for that market where Fullers,Youngs and other brewers with hundreds of years of experience have failed? Why not try and make something interesting? OK, the boys down the road who brew their first batch call them bastards for getting a decent recipe on their first attempt, but they also damn it with their “oh, very drinkable” praise, which is clearly brewerese for “this tastes of nothing”.

The other guys in the focus group, none of whom seemed to be primarily ale drinkers, reacted the way i think Morrissey was expecting, even suggesting, after some quite heavy prompting, that (holy grail pt 2!!!) their girlfriends would drink it (imagine that, WIMMIN drinking ale! now some of my best friends are both wimmin and ale drinkers (even CAMRA members) and i’m pretty sure they would find this as unpalatable as I did)!

He actually says here:

If Kronenbourg is the Coldplay of the beer world, then my own beer is like John Lennon and Julie Christie driving through London in a silver Jaguar E-Type circa 1967 with The Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset blasting out of the speakers.

no it isn’t mate, it’s James Blunt at best.

Also, [SPOILERS FOR PART THREE] I’ve just found this press release from Tesco, which makes me weep into my pint of Nero/Deuchars/Landlord/insert your favourite ale here

Mind you, with my track record on success or failure of Guinness Red (spotted in the wild in Watford O’Neills on Saturday), it’ll probably go on to be a roaring success…

*although, somehow, the cidermakers (fruitless? cidermakers? oh please yourselves) have managed it…