Saturday, 31 January 2015

What's Your Beef? Urban Burger's burger competition winner announced.

I was honoured to be invited to judge Urban Burger's design-a-burger competition which has been running for a couple of months. The event happened at the restaurant on Thursday, which saw the finalists have their burgers cooked and brought before a panel of judges, including little old me, for the ultimate taste show down.

The panel included John Harvey the Exeter City Centre manager @ExeterCCM , Chris 'Bentos' Bentley former Exeter Chiefs Lock and now Corporate Sales manager for the team @CCBentos and Steve who runs +DevonHour, and me who writes about food in Exeter and also has a small obsession about Burgers.

We were going to judge the burgers on Appearance, Taste, Texture and Creativity and give them a score out of 10.  "easy!" I thought, but this was much tougher than I envisioned given the high standard of the entries.

The first contender was The BRIEoche, which used an interesting combination of barbecue beans and Brie.  I love Brie and a Brie Burger might have been a winner in my eyes, but the use of beans for me didn't do it.  A combination that for some of the judges really worked, but a little too strange for my taste buds.  It was a clean and tidy burger, and very enjoyable to eat in that sense.

The second to enter our gaze was the Ay Caramba, a Chipotle laden spice mountain with Guacamole and some strong flavours.  I loved the taste of this one, but it was very sloppy and a little too messy for my liking.  This was my second favourite of the night in the end, and had I not been quite so bowled over by the winner, it would have been my favourite to win.

The third burger of the night was the Oh My Mexican Cheese, using Afterburner Chilli Cheese and an interesting salsa, this burger looked amazing as it came out.  But its appearance was part of its downfall as it fell apart very easily when trying to eat it, I enjoyed the taste but there was an expectation of heat which didn't come through.

The last burger of the night was the Duck n Dive, which won the evening for all of the judges. Smoked pulled duck with a chinese coleslaw was the one that got approving noises from all of us at the judging table.  It was light, clean, fresh and easy to eat without feeling too overbearing.  Part of me was sad that it wasn't a beef burger that won but Urban Burger have an impressive track record when it comes to Smoking things.  Take a look at their Smoke House menu if you get a chance :)

The winner was announced, the prize awarded and photos taken.  Take a look at some snaps from the evening, all credit for photos goes to Urban Burger for photos taken. I edited them, but didn't take them!

The entrants and their friends came to support and cheer for their burgers!

Team BRIEoche

The burgers came out from the kitchen in batches of four, divided amongst judges and contestants

The judges eagerly awaiting the next batch of burgers


We didn't all agree sometimes, but that is what makes this process so much fun!

The Duck n Dive, an amazing burger which rightfully won the competition.

The judges with Lucy, winner of the competition who won £250 worth of Urban Burger vouchers and the addition of her Burger to the menu...

#burgerboys looking 'ard

Lucy, the creator of the winning burger

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The battle of the burgers: who has stolen McDonald's crown? via

“So this is what America tastes like”, I thought, dreamily, on my first trip to McDonald’s, more than thirty years ago. There was no branch then in my home town, but a schoolmate’s parents took a group all the way to London for a birthday party. It was so new: perfect yellow squares of processed cheese, thin-cut fries, mouth-scorching apple pies. Mostly, I remember being startled by the flavours: sugary and salty with an undertow of dill.
The Golden Arches do not appear sparkly-fresh any more. On 23rd January, the world’s largest hamburger chain announced falling global profits for the fourth successive quarter.
In China, sales have been hit by scandal: a supplier was found guilty of using out-of-date chicken and beef. As a result, McDonald’s sales in Asia have dropped faster than anywhere else: by 4.8 per cent this quarter.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Transport Media and St Austell Brewery look to quench the thirsts of London taxi users

Transport Media has teamed up with St Austell Brewery to launch a London-based taxi advertising campaign, promoting their flagship beer Tribute Cornish Pale Ale. The full livery advertising campaign will run for 12 months on taxis across Central London.

The campaign informs taxi users where they can pick up a pint of the traditional Cornwall favourite in the Capital, without the need to take a 'five hour cab ride' down to the South West. The eye-catching purple exterior adverts will stand out amongst the hustle and bustle of the city centre traffic, while the interior tip seat adverts feature a handy map, directing passengers to their nearest thirst-quenching pint of Tribute.
St Austell Brewery are a long-standing independent, family-run business, founded as far back as 1851 and proud brewers of many award winning beers. Tribute Cornish Pale Ale is a traditional South West favourite, as well as being one of the fastest growing premium cask ale brands throughout the rest of the UK. Its unique purple-coloured branding and bottles help set it apart from the competition, and St Austell beers are now available in over 350 pubs and bars within the M25.
CEO of Transport Media's parent company Media Agency Group, Lee Dentith, said: "We are extremely proud to be working alongside St Austell Brewery to help them promote their traditional Tribute Cornish Pale Ale to an ever-growing audience in Central London. Taxi advertising is a great way to promote a brand and I have no doubt that the campaign will be a huge success, hopefully leading to us working together in the future."
St Austell Brewery's Marketing and Communications Director said: "London is a key market for our beers and it is very exciting to see Tribute being advertised on the iconic London taxis. This campaign will help introduce Tribute to more consumers in the capital while also giving practical advice on where in London you can enjoy a pint of this Cornish classic."


UK’s most ‘beard-friendly’ pub is The Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington (via London 24)

The Beard Liberation Front, ‘the informal network of beard wearers’, has revealed the north London real ale and craft beer house came top in a public vote this month.
Criteria for the list included ‘a pub that welcomes the hirsute and often has a significant number of hirsute customers’, and that has ‘beard friendly beers’.
The Jolly Butchers, which had previously won the accolade in 2012, edged out the Urban Tap House in Cardiff by just two votes to be crowned by a whisker.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Excellent @guardian article - How craft beer has set struggling pubs free from the nachos

On a Tuesday lunchtime, Whitelock’s is doing healthy business. At Leeds’s oldest pub, a mixed clientele samples the 10 real ales and tucks in to hearty pub food. The pub that John Betjeman described as “the heart of Leeds” celebrates its third centenary this year, but a few years ago its place in the city’s firmament was less secure. Whitelock’s, like many other pubs, had fallen on hard times and had lacked investment from its owner, the pub company Spirit Group.
The giant pubco had imposed a limited range of drinks and a generic menu of nachos and other dishes at odds with Whitelock’s character. Loyal customers drifted away. Dave Herbert, the pub’s manager, says: “The previous owner had given up a bit and that was reflected in sales, which were incredibly low.” 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Low-alcohol Beer sales rocket in Scotland after a change in law. Same to happen in England possibly?

SALES of low-alcohol beer have rocketed in Scotland since the introduction of the lower drink drive limit, retailers have claimed.
Figures show a huge surge in demand for products since the new laws came into force in December, meaning the average man can have just a pint of normal-strength beer before driving and woman only half a pint.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

How Iron Maiden's Trooper beer is brewed and canned (Video)

British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN will start selling their Trooper beer in a 500ml "Tall Boy" can in the U.S. this month.
300,000 Trooper cans will be made available in the U.S. beer market.
Video footage and photos showing how Trooper is canned can be seen below.
MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson, who designed and developed the ale with Martyn Weeks, the chief brewer at Robinsons, told Manchester Evening News that cans have advantages over bottles.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Deskbeers delivers craft ale to workplaces

It may well only be Monday, but Friday will roll around soon enough – and if you’re fortunate to work in a company that relaxes the rules a little, Friday is the day you get to crack open a free, cold beer at your desk or in the break-out area.
UK startup Deskbeers has been offering workplace delivery of a minimum of a dozen bottles of craft ale within London for a while, but now it’ll send its wares directly to your office anywhere on the UK mainland on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or one-off basis.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Gourmet burger market steps up a gear

Reports of the death of the burger trend have been greatly exaggerated it would appear, with the market set to boom in the coming years as its main protagonists continue to expand.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A Healthy Burger Alternatives - Sweet Potato Burgers (link)

Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Cream and Avocado | 25 Tasty Hamburger Alternatives T... -