Celebrate International Beer Day [1 August 2014] | Video: Role of beer in cultures around Australia by The Beer Pilgrim | Q & A with The Beer Pilgrim

With International Beer Day just around the corner on August 1, it’s time to sit back and relax with the nation’s most popular alcoholic beverage.
75% of beer drinkers embrace a cultural ritual before taking the first sip. The top drinking traditions include saying cheers (56%), shouting a round of drinks for friends (31%), pouring a drink for everyone in the group before themselves (31%), looking a drinking partner in the eye when clinking glasses (20%) and saying cheers in a different language (15%). Women beer drinkers are more likely than men to say cheers, but guys are more likely to buy a round of beers for their friends.
The Beer Pilgrim, a lover and discoverer of beer, recently embarked on a journey to uncover the role that beer plays in the many cultures around Australia, and discovered that while drinking customs around the world are incredibly diverse, the symbolism behind them is quite similar…
The Beer Pilgrim is inviting Aussies from all countries, cultures and backgrounds to come together and take part in a World Record attempt for the ‘largest beer tasting at a single venue’ on International Beer Day, Friday 1 August 2014, at Level 3, Ivy Sunroom, 330 George St.
The World Record attempt starts from 6pm and adult participants are asked to arrive by 5.30pm to secure their spot and collect a tasting paddle, containing a selection of three local and international beers to sample for free. (Limited to the first 350 people aged 18+).

Quick Q & A with The Beer Pilgrim
The Beer Pilgrim is Tim Charody, a beer lover who is not only thirsty for knowledge about his favourite drink but is keen to share his discoveries with Australian drinkers. Armed with a toolkit that includes a camera, passport and a love of beer, he is prepared to travel the world in his pursuit of information.

Bound together by a mutual passion for beer, Lion is supporting The Beer Pilgrim in his pursuit to discover everything there is to know about this humble drink, and subsequently help increase our knowledge of all things beer in Australia.

How did your interest in craft beer begin? Do you remember the first craft beer you fell in love with?

I suppose my interest in craft beer began as I started to travel when I was 18 years. That is when I began sampling beer from local microbreweries in different parts of the world – though at the time I didn’t realise I was drinking “craft” beer.

I have fallen in love with craft beer many, many times but my one true love only came into my life a few years ago. I am head over heels for the ‘Feral Hop Hog IPA’ from Western Australia. It’s a long distance relationship and my parents don’t agree (with the name that is) but we do rendezvous quite regularly!

What is your most exciting memory during your journey as The Beer Pilgrim? 

This happened only a few weeks ago while I was in the Snowy Mountains in search of an ice cave to stash a keg of beer as a bit of an experiment. 

The entire time we were down there was a snow blizzard and blowing about 50 knots which made it quite scary, but incredibly exciting. I was trekking through the snow, dragging a full 65kg keg of beer with Josh Staines (Brewer for the James Squire and Mad Brewers range) and I just kept thinking to myself, ‘what would the beer world think of me if anything happened to this guy? A world without James Squire Hop Thief or James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale’’ - What kind of a world is that?’

What do you think makes a good beer?

Innovation, good ingredients and more than anything, to be drunk fresh, No matter how big or small the brewery might be, beer is always better fresh! If you have never tasted beer fresh from a brewery before, you have been missing out on something special!.

What is your favourite beer and food pair?

Definitely a Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse (German Wheat Beer) with Pad Kra Prao Seafood (Spicy Thai dish). Another good match is the James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale with grilled snapper. The citrus notes of the pale ale complements perfectly to the light flavoured snapper. And we all know fish and citrus are a match made in heaven!

When matching beer with food, it’s important to note the three C’s – Contrast, Complement and Cut-through (cancel). 

I find that this combination is definitely a contrast / cut-through relationship. The fruity Franziskaner Hefeweizen is a beautiful contrast with the salty, spicy Pad Kra Prao, and while the Thai dish is extremely spicy, the Hefeweizen cancels out the spice between each mouthful perfectly! German beer with Thai food is definitely an unexpected combination but it works a treat!

What's next for The Beer Pilgrim?

I have a pretty busy few weeks coming up actually. On Friday, 1st August I am hosting an event for International Beer Day at Ivy Sunroom in Sydney. We will be attempting to break the current world record for the largest beer tasting in one venue and offering some great food and beer matches! I will also be unveiling a brand new beer vessel that has been designed to incorporate an entire world of beer cultures in one glass!

When that has all wrapped up, I will be heading back down to the Snowy Mountains to recover my beer keg that has been stashed in an icy cave for the past month -the same cave we risked life and limb trying to find!

Follow Tim's journey at www.facebook.com/TheBeerPilgrim.