Beer nerds face wine ponces at The Tannery

TASTE TEST: CP Lin says wine has more variety than beer.
TASTE TEST: CP Lin says wine has more variety than beer.

Beer nerds will take on wine ponces in the first Grain versus Grape debate tonight.

Organiser Jonathan Corfe says the debate is all about "putting on the coat of ridicule".

Beer and wine are serious pursuits these days. Much thought and effort goes into making the perfect pinot gris or the best lager and those in the industry can get a little caught up in the seriousness of it all.

There's nothing like a good old-fashioned comedy debate to bring the industries together and break down the stereotypes.

For the beer team, beer reviewer and former secondary school world debating champion Neil Miller says wine is old news.

"Wine has had its time," he says. "We beer drinkers probably speak more German than French and beer is a complex but sociable drink."

Miller writes for Beer and Brewer magazine and has a regular beer column in Cuisine.

"We tend to get stuck in the stereotype of blonde fizzies in green bottles, but beer is so much more than that," he says.

Miller and his team of beer experts, including Ned Bartlett from Volstead bar, will go up against the wine snobs.

Christchurch wine consultant CP Lin says wine offers a lot more variety than beer.

Not too keen to give his main points away to the opposition before the debate begins, he says a conservative estimate shows there are at least 1300 grape varieties used for winemaking.

"How many beers are there in the world?"

On top of grape varieties, he says wine can be altered so many ways to make it unique - oaked, unoaked, aged or not, blended . . . the list goes on.

Wine is also rare as it is only produced once a year.

"You can brew beer any time. It's not as rare," he says.

Corfe says the debate is not about raising money and he is just hoping to break even and lighten the city's mood.

Grain vs Grape is at The Tannery tonight, 7pm. Tickets cost $25 from Gustav's, The Brewery, Volstead, Liquor King Carlton Corner, or CBD bar.

The Press