This is a presentation on the many styles and types of awesome craft beer, including tips on tasting, cellaring, trading, and finding great beer. I ran a combined tasting/education session and tasted 14 beers during it.
AND beer kicks wine’s backside• ….so there’s that
Craft Beer History• 1920 – Prohibition begins, brewing now sucks• 1933 – 21st Amendment, prohibition ends,everyone gets druuuuunk• 1965 – Fritz Maytag revives Anchor Steam• 1977 – Michael Jackson (not THAT one) publishesThe World Guide to Beer, begins craft beerrenaissance• 1982 – First Great American Beer Festival• 1984 – Jim Koch first brews Sam Adams• 1990s/2000s – Craft beer EXPLODES!• 2008 – Smithsonian magazine says, “The bestbeers in the world are being made in the USA”
One last thing…• Many of these beers are really strong• Drink plenty of water• Stop if you feel drunk
What do you want out of a beer?• Thirst quencher?– Drink cold Bud/Miller/Coors!– Or ice water, same difference• Decent beverage with taste and flavor?– Plenty of craft beer options!• Complex, ponderous, deep, mind-alteringexperience?– Hells yeah you need craft beer
The GraphAvailabilityQualityAWESOMECRAPRAREEVERYWHEREBud/Miller/Coors PUREAWESOMENESSGuinnessSam AdamsSierra NevadaPURENERDINESS
LET’S TASTE #1 !• Anyone know what style it is?• Win a prize if you guess!
Style: American Amber Lager• Brewery: Jack’s Abby• Beer: Lashes Hopbock Lager• ABV: 7.2%• Origin: MA, USA
Lager vs. Ale• What’s the difference?• Lager is made from lager yeast that ferments atcolder temps and doesnt float to the surface• Ale is made from different yeast that ferments atwarmer temps and floats to the top
AMAZINGLY…• Beer can indeed be aged!• Does it make it better or worse?• Neither! It just changes it.
What happens to beer in a cellar?• Hop freshness disappears after a few months• Flavors become more balanced, dominantflavors mellow out• Stronger beers become more complex
What kinds of beer can be aged?• Don’t bother aging normal lagers– They really don’t change much, except taste lessfresh• Strong, unfiltered ales are best• Especially if they have yeast still in the bottle– For “secondary fermentation”
Trappist Beer• Started the “Abbey” style• Strong, chewy, boozy, complex, flavorful• Brew to make just enough money to keep theabbeys going• 6 brewing Trappist abbeys in Belgium, 1 in theNetherlands, 1 in Austria• There’s also Trappist cheese and marmalade!
The Trappist Beers• Achel, Westvleteren, Orval, Rochefort,Chimay, Westmalle, Koningshoeven
Quiz!• Where’s the newest Trappist brewery rumoredto be opening up?
The GraphAvailabilityQualityAWESOMECRAPRAREEVERYWHERELa Fin Du Monde
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW• Beer strength used to be written on casks with“X” for each 3% ABV• X = 3%, XX = 6%, XXX = 9%• So you just drank some of this:
All About GLASSES!• Drinking out of a bottle SUCKS– You can’t stick your nose in and smell it like a realbeer geek– You can’t appreciate the true color of the beer– It won’t develop a foamy head– Beers are meant to be poured into glasses!FAIL
Types of Beer Glasses• There are hundreds!• Craft breweries usually make their own– And some bars refuse to serve a beer if they don’thave the correct glasses available• Even the Trappist monks get in on the action• Some brewers even recommend wine glasses
Look at how FREAKING BEAUTIFULthese glasses are. Just look at them!!
Quiz time!• What “skunks” beer?• Answer:• LIGHT• Especially through green glass
Beer Distribution in the USA• The USA is still suffering from antiquated anddumb prohibition-era alcohol laws• You can’t just sell beer to liquor stores if youbrew some• There’s this crappy and stupid 3-tier system…
Before prohibition…• Breweries used to own bars• And those bar owners were pressured by theowners to sell lots and lots of beer• Which increased consumption• Which increased drunkenness• And a backlash started in society• So alcohol was banned with the 18th amendment•
The Middle-Man• So after prohibition ended, the government wanted toensure the serious partayyys wouldn’t happen again• So they forced beer to be sold first to a distributor, whowould then sell to retail outlets in areas of theirchoosing, hoping it would “temper” the market• But that just created corrupt middlemen, higher pricesand now means that some American beers can’t besold in certain states. WTF!• The wine industry found a loophole in 2005 and moststates now allow direct-to-consumer wine sales
Hill Farmstead Brewery• In the middle of absolutely nowhere, VT• Tiny output of insanely well-made, fresh, trulyartisanal ales• Lines out the door every day they’re open– Cars from everywhere but VT• Their beers really are that good• Not sold anywhere but the brewery
The Alchemist• Next door to Ben & Jerry’s, Waterbury VT• Was a brewpub until flooded by Irene in 2011• Has since become a brewery and focuses on makingone beer – Heady Topper – incredibly well• Heady Topper now one of the world’s most sought-after beers• It’s also not sold outside of VT
The GraphAvailabilityQualityAWESOMECRAPRAREEVERYWHEREMilk Stout Nitro
Milk in Stout?• It’s not actually milk that’s in it• It’s actually lactose, a sugar derived from milk• Lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, so it addssweetness and body to the beer• And now we all know who in the room is lactoseintolerant
Beer Trading• Many great beers will never appear on localshelves• So you trade online!• No money, just beer-for-beer trade• You just hope the other person sends you thebox they promised– And that they pack it well enough!
The GraphAvailabilityQualityAWESOMECRAPRAREEVERYWHERE2010 Stone ImperialRussian StoutStone ImperialRussian Stout(when it’s releasedeach May)
Imperial Stout• Legend has it that Russia’s Catherine the Greatloved these strong stouts from England• And the high ABV meant it would survive OKin the arctic frozen tundra• So it’s now usually called Russian ImperialStout
Quiz time!• Which country has the highest per capita beerconsumption?• Answer:• Czech Republic• Followed by Germany, Austria, Ireland• USA is #12
Get ready for a big taste change!• We’re going….• SOUR!
Blending Lambic to make Gueuze• Pure lambic will scrape your face off with sourness• It is blended to make “gueuze”, which is refreshing,thirst-quenching and generally mind-blowing• Oude Gueuze is a blend of 1, 2 and 3-year oldlambic• It has a really distinctive funky “horse blanket”aroma
The GraphAvailabilityQualityAWESOMECRAPRAREEVERYWHERELindemans GueuzeCuvee Rene
Westy• Westvleteren 12, to be exact• It’s a Trappist ale, the strongest of three typesthe abbey makes• But it’s not distributed or sold beyond theabbey in Belgium
And…• It happens to be the top-rated beer in theworld!
How do you get it?• Simple!• Fly to Belgium• Drive to West Flanders• Phone the brewery, pray you get through• Give them your car license plate #• Hope the same car didn’t buy beer there in the last 60 days• Then drive there in the same car to pick up 1 case of whichever type ofbeer they’re offering that day• Pray they’re offering the “12” beer style• Buy it, drink it!
Why the crazy controls?• Because Trappist monks are againstcommercialism and only brew enough to keeptheir monastery going• And then…• Their monastery needed a BIG renovation
So just once,it CAME TO THE USA!http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22188986/beer-snobs-wait-colorado-springs-worlds-best-trappistOnly$85 for a6-pack!