Monday, March 16, 2009

Beer Tasting Last Saturday Night

I conducted a beer tasting last Saturday night. A church I used to attend had a talent auction about a year ago and they asked me to auction off a beer tasting. The buyer redeemed it last Saturday. I billed it as Beers of the World, so I focused more on geography than style. I think it went well. Everyone seemed truely engaged in the beer and were even taking notes. It was a great group and we had a lot of fun. I provided the following beers for tasting, discussion, and evaluation:
  • Germany: Paulaner Hefeweizen (South German Style Hefeweizen)
  • Belgium: Grimbergen Blonde (Belgian Style Pale Strong Ale)
  • Scotland: Bitter & Twisted (Classic English Style Pale Ale)
  • Great Britain: Meantime IPA (English Style India Pale Ale)
  • Belgium: Chimay Grande Reserve/Chimay Bleu (Belgian Dark Strong Ale)
  • Sri Lanka: Lion Stout (Foreign/Export Stout)
  • United States: Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quad-Lambic)

We discussed each in terms of appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and overall impression. I provided rating sheets for those that wanted to take notes. Every beer seemed to be liked by someone. The Hefeweizen by few and the Bitter & Twisted by many. The Stout went over very well as did the Three Philosophers.

I have been to a lot of tastings and they are all about the beer to some degree. Most are put on by bars which charge $25 to $30 to as many as they can get. The discussion gets lost out in those usually being dominated by a few, but they are still fun. I really liked this approach with only 10 guests. Almost everyone asked questions or commented. I hope to do more and would prefer the smaller intimate setting like this one.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Siebel Institute – All About the Beer

Last October I attended a two day class at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. The Institute has been around about 150 years and trained most of the big names in brewing. Today they mostly train craft brewmasters with a program in Chicago and Munich. I attended a two day tasting class that was put on for distributors. I signed up as an individual as did a few others. We learned how to taste beers and evaluate them. Over the course of two days we tasted over 40 beers from 25 styles. I learned about problems that occur in beer, why I hate beer from green bottles, and a lot about aroma, appearance, and taste. We learned how to conduct our own tastings and promote our love of beer to others. It was pretty intense, but a lot of fun. The Siebel Institute is definitely about the beer. I proudly display my certificate of completion.