After we got the quiz out of the way (9 out of 10 on this one,TYVM), we did a quick tour of Great Lakes Brewery. This was my fourth tour of a working brewery, and took some photos and notes to compare to those taken at my other tours.
They had just brought in their new copper vessel, and were roughing in the placement of the dials and lines with cardboard cutouts. I wish I could have shown this picture to some of my past students – do mock-ups and rough things in first, it will save time and headache later!
It’s not a big brewing space, but there was a area for the experimental brews, and the fermentation and ageing cellars are enormous by comparison.
A lot of this class was spent looking at draught systems. I was surprised to see that it accounts for only 9% of beer sales across Canada; I’d always thought it more. Roger went on to explain that it used to be more, 12% in 1997, but when the economy goes bump, people will cocoon and drink at home rather than go out to bars.
We looked at draught systems (CO2, beer mix, mixed gas and air compressors), and went through some troubleshooting flow charts to help diagnose issues. I love flowcharts – I’m a geek, what can I say?
I shuddered to remember how some of the places I waitressed in treated their draft. Like the Bar That Shall Remain Nameless, where we always had so many complaints about the draught. It’s no wonder; it was run by an air compressor that lived in the musty basement beside the bathrooms. Ick.
After we were grossed out by worse case draught scenarios, it was time for the tasting – wheat beers this time!
- Blanche de Chambly, Belgian wheat. I do love this one.
Appearance: cloudy, buttery gold, lemon meringue pie, creamy head
Aroma: clove from the coriander, citrus
Flavour: spice, lemon peel
Finish: lots of carbonation
- Hacker Pschorr, German
Appearance: cloudy, honey
Flavour: mild citrus, Juicy Fruit gum
Finish: smoother, not as carbonated
- Erdinger Dunkel Weisse, German
Appearance: chocolate/mahogany coloured
Aroma: Banana bread (faint)
Flavour: banana bread, walnut, caramel (later)
- Weihenestphaner Weissenbock, German
Appearance: cloudy, butter
Aroma: boozy, sharp
Flavour: bubble gum, spiced apple, banana
Finish – thin bubbles,