A beer piece, in Sainsbury's Magazine - surely not I hear you cry! Isn't that one for 'the ladies'?
But hats off to Sue Robinson (the editor), she was an instant convert to the beer cause after falling in love with a Meantime Porter and Valharona chocolate dessert match at a lunch I worked on for the English Beef & Lamb Executive and decided to commission the piece as a result of experiencing the amazing qualities of different beers first hand - so thanks for being so open-minded Sue (and for ignoring Ian Botham's continued attempts to feed you wine instead!).
My point behind this post is that too often we beer nerds think that telling people what they want to drink is the way to convert them to the beer cause, but I disagree.
The key for me is education and passion on the subject of beer, not patronisation or fundamentalist attitudes.
For example: I held a tasting last night at the Printer's Devil in Fetter Lane, London for a group of lawyers and their clients at which there was one woman and one man who both said they never drink beer at the beginning of the evening.
By going right back to basics about how alcohol is made, how beer was discovered, dispelling myths about some mainstream brands containing chemicals and giving a bit of a story behind some of the beers, the original beer-avoiders left swearing to experiment more - what more can you ask?