Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rocky Mountain Microbrew Symposium


I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Rocky Mountain Microbrew Symposium yesterday. The annual event is held at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and is an event for any local microbreweries. At the event brewers and staff can meet with their fellow brewers, hear talks on brewing, and sample a host of beers brought by the participants.

The speakers were a little dry this year but there were a couple of note and one in particular that caught my attention. It was on glassware, which might sound odd, but hear me out. First, the speaker handed out a normal pint glass to everyone in the room, a Trinity glass, a Samuel Adam's glass, and a New Belgium glass. The crowd then sampled beers out of the special glasses compared to the pint glass. The speaker went over how certain glasses produce a better drinking experience by putting the beer in the correct place on the drinkers tongue or concentrating aroma compounds allowing the drinker to have their nose in the glass as they are taking a sip. It certainly confirmed what most beer geeks already know, drink beer out of a glass and not the bottle, and use the correct glass!

I also had the opportunity to sample about 25+ beers. At the top of my list was Black Fox's Diablo that is brewed with chocolate and peppers. I was very impressed by the beer and the chocolate and peppers blended together magnificently. Next I was able to get my hands on a can of Oskar Blue's Deviant, their double IPA that was previously only available on tap. I spoke with one of the brewers about the beer and he stated that it was like a double Dale's Pale Ale that was dry hoped beyond belief. It was a very refreshing IPA that carried no bitter lingering aftertaste, it should be available in stores within a few weeks. Finally, I was able to try a sour from Three Barrel in Del Norte Colorado, it was hands down the best beer of the event and once I started drinking it I gave up on everything else in the room.

At lunch the movie Beer Culture was shown, you should certainly check it out if you have not seen it before.

Overall the event was a great way to spend a Friday learning about the science of beer and chatting with some of the best brewers in Colorado one on one as I tried their beers.

Mixed Fermentation Tasting


About a month ago I brewed a wheat beers using two yeast strains. The recipe was simple, 50% wheat and 50% barley and lightly hoped. I wanted to see what would happen if I added both an American Wheat strain and a Saison strain. The results was a little lack luster. I was hoping for some fruit and spice aromas from the Saison yeast but all it did was give the beer a dry finish. If I was to do this over again I would use a more expressive wheat yeast and stick with the Saison to give it the dry finish. That being said the beer did turn out rather well and is very refreshing and sessionable.

Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Nice straw color that pours with a nice cloudy haze. The nice fluffy head soon turned into a lacing around the top of the glass.

Aroma: Yeasty aroma with notes of pineapple.

Taste: A nice wheat taste with some spices at the finish, rather dry and leaves the palate nice and clean for the next sip.

Overall: A highly drinkable beer with a great taste. I would like to find away to give it some banana notes and would probably choose a different yeast combination for next time.