We started this class with a quiz. I had read over the workbook and my notes briefly, and decided I was good.
I wasn’t. Good thing this one didn’t count.
We spent the first part of the class getting an overview of the history of beer. I found out that the Sumerians had a goddess of brewing, Ninkasi, and learned a bit about the role that monks and religious orders played in brewing. I am intrigued by this intersection of beer and religion, and have requested a couple of books from the library.
Roger also talked about beer culture and glassware, topics that I really skimmed over in Tasting Beer. I think I should revisit it.
It was also the night of lager tasting! Roger had given us a copy of the beer flavour wheel, which certainly helped with the vocabulary.
- Miller Genuine Draft
Appearance: clear, pale straw
Flavour: almost non-existent
Finish: I get what dry means now
- Pilsner Urquell
Appearance: clear, golden
Aroma: coriander, pear, pineapple (?)
Flavour: biscuity, soda crackers, slight pepper
Appearance: root beer, mahogany, brown with red tint
Aroma: chocolate, cherry, vanilla – Dr pepper
Flavour: tea w. brown sugar, pumpernickel, black licorice
Also pointed out – faint wet cardboard smell, oxidation
- Holsten Fesbock
Appearance: clear, sherry-coloured
Aroma: figs, vanilla, prune
Flavour: rum, figs, fruitcake > toffee, biscuit > green tobacco
One of Roger’s former students is observing the class to teach a later session. We had talked about the Samuel Adams Utopias in class 1, and he promised to bring in his empty bottle to show us. Even empty, the aromas that came out of that bottle were heavenly: mellow sherry and dark fruit and oak to name a few. It might be a while before I can afford one, but it has certainly gone on the bucket list.