Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Post 100! And MN Brewers Assoc.

Wow- finally made it to 100 posts! Go me!

Anyway, tonight I went with my friend Rob to a meeting of the St. Paul Homebrewers Club. It's a pretty cool organization- they organize lots of brewing competitions and other such events, and everyone is encouraged to bring beer to the meetings for other people to try!

As you might be able to guess, this was a great opportunity for me to not only try a lot of quality home brews but also to get a glimpse into how life long brewers interact with their beer. First there is a sniff, then a swirl, then a sniff again, before finally taking a sip. They could isolate the various yeasts, grains and sugars used in the beers and from that determine exactly what style it was. A few brewers included recipes with their beers, and they received plenty of tips on how to improve various aspects of the taste, color etc. from all present.

To be in a room with 40 or so guys, all talking about various beers not only as if they were wine snobs but chefs as well... it's something. Definitely made me want to have a second go at brewing, and maybe try my hand at some more 'real' brewing some day.

They are also going to have an event called the Upper Mississippi Mash-Out towards the end of January. It's a big competition among homebrewers to try to produce the best of the various styles of beers as laid down by the Beer Judge Certification Program (or BJCP). There is some room for expression, but the goal is to try to produce an excellent beer that conforms to one of the styles. They also have a special section this year focusing on English beers. I may end up volunteering at the event just to get a better look at what home brewing can do.

Until next time...

"Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but Cabbage with a College Education."
- The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and the Comedy of the Extraordinary Twins by Mark Twain

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