The competition's premise was simple: six teams of non-brewers and amateur brewers were invited to brew a new beer using classic Pilsner ingredients. Two of the teams were from the London pubs that sell draught Pilsner Urquel from the tank, while the rest were mostly beer writers, broadcasters and bloggers. In a nod to various popular cookery shows, as well as the main ingredients they were given a bunch of other ones to choose from to make their beer distinctive. They also had technical support from London Beer Lab and Windsor & Eton Brewery.
I wasn't there for the two brew days, but various of the people involved have written or filmed about it, including Martyn Cornell, Tandleman, I Love Good Beer and the Craft Beer Channel.
The top three went on to a run-off panel comprising PU brewmaster Václav Berka, PU marketing man Mark Dredge, and flavour psychologist Greg Tucker. They picked a winner, which will be scaled up and brewed commercially by Windsor & Eton, to go on sale on September 12th at the White Horse's European Beer Festival.
All the beers were decent – a tribute to the teams and to Braumeister, I guess – and some were actually rather good. Speaking to people at the judging about which of the beers they liked best, the names that kept coming up were Citron and Another Fine Mash, yet neither of these was the eventual winner.
So the beer that will be brewed commercially is Soundbite, brewed by a team from Bethnal Green's Strongroom bar. The runners-up were Pegasus, brewed by a team from the White Horse, and public favourite Another Fine Mash. Interestingly, the Strongroom and the White Horse are PU's two London tankovna – pubs that sell draught PU from a large tank. Was favouritism involved? I suspect it was more a case that barstaff used to selling Pilsner know what to aim for when invited to create a new Pilsner.