Prud’homme Beer Specialist, session 6.

To say I enjoyed this class is an understatement. It was more low-key than other classes, and was entirely sensory evaluation. There was only PowerPoint slide, and it was to identify the cheese for the beer pairing.

The class started by tasting and evaluating wheat beers and wheat bocks, some of which had a heavy ABV, and then we moved on to the cheese and beer pairings. There was lots of chatter and laughter, which was a great way to spend a cold winter evening.

We tried all of the cheese first with Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold for comparison’s sake. According to my notes (which became nearly indecipherable as the class went on), I found that it worked quite nicely with all except the provolone:

  • Brie – complemented each other nicely. The beer emphasized the cream and smoothness of the cheese, while the Brie minimized the beer’s bitterness
  • Le Blocke – the beer’s effervescence cut the heaviness of the cheese, but the cheese made the beer seem watery.
  • Glengarry Lankaster – the nuttiness of the Lankaster highlighted the malts in the beer.
  • St. Agur – the blue cheese really sweetened the beer, while the beer really brought out more of the cheese’s bitter aftertaste
  • Provolone – not a beer cheese. The beer made the cheese taste like paste, and the cheese made the beer taste sour. Not pleasant.
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Cheese selection for the beer pairings

 

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a table full of beer. and cheese.

 

Style - Wheat BeerErdinger Dunkeweissen, 5.3%Weihenstephaner, 5.3%
Appearancemahogany, large tan headcloudy, apple cider
Aromasour tang, bananasbanana, bubble gum, spice
Tastewheat toast, cocoa at endcloves, Juicy Fruit gum
Finishsoft low impact
Style - Wheat BockAventinus, 8.2%Grand Cuvee Weizenboc, 10.2%
Appearancedark brown, thick tight headcloudy, colour of dark apple cider
Aromacloves, alcohol, warmed to smoke and hamrum raisin, wood, vanilla
Tastecloves, boozy/sourtart berries, buckwheat honey
Finishlong finishintense, warming, effervescent.

In my fridge

I have a good/bad habit of picking up single bottles of beer whenever I am around a Beer Store or LCBO. Good in that I have a interesting selection of different beers in fridge to quench any thirst. Bad in that there is very little room in our fridge for actual food.

I tend to stash the beer in the crispers, aka the drawers of despair (fruit and vegetables go in, we forget we’ve put them there, goo comes out). However, the stash has overflowed to the top shelf to the point where it’s in my way. Time to figure out what’s even in there.

Actually, I think it’s time to stop buying the beer, and start drinking the beer.

In my fridge, August 2013

  • Mill Street: Coffee Porter, Belgian Wit  and Tankhouse Ale. Left from a sampler pack bought a while ago. Not super keen on any of them right now, but keeping them in case that changes.
  • Black Sheep Brewery: Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Had to buy this as I am a huge fan of the movie. Cannot bring myself to open it for some reason. I think I’m secretly afraid it might be awful.
  • Sleeman: Honey Brown Lager. Part of a mixed lot bought by my friend Karen to help further my beer tasting. She’s a good friend to have!
  • St. Ambroise: Pale Ale, Apricot Wheat and Raspberry Ale. Another sampler pack, as I like the fruit beers in the summer. Finding the Apricot Wheat a bit more cloying than usual, but perhaps that’s just me.
  • Grapefruit Stiegl Radler. Impulse buy. Seems like a good beer for sitting on the dock on a hot summer day.
  • Amsterdam: Mid Summer Saison, 416. Amsterdam’s brewing facility has moved into my neighbourhood, making it far too easy to stop in to see what’s in their fridge. I keep coming back to the 416 after trying it during one of their tastings, the Mid Summer Saison was bought because I wanted to try a saison.
  • Wychwood, Hobgoblin. Another beer bought by Karen. She liked the label. This seems like something more suitable for cooler weather and Halloween.
  • Lake of Bays:  Spring Maple. Another impulse buy.
  • Stella Artois. Part of the Karen Mixed Bag. I’ve had Stella before, so know what to expect.
  • Niagara College Teaching Brewery: Butler’s Bitter. When I found out there was a teaching brewery where you could buy the beer made by students, I had to go see.
  • Creemore Springs: Sunny and Share Citrus Saison. Bought in Killarney because it looked summery, something I might want to drink on the dock while watching the sun set. It rained, so the beer came home with me.
  • Hacker-Pschorr: Weiss and Munich Gold. Bought because I wanted the bottles for my home brewing experiment. According to the research I did, I could buy empty swing-top bottles at a brewing store for a bit more than buying them full of beer at The Beer Store. It was like buy the bottle, get the beer for free! Yes, I know there are other options, but this gave me a valid reason to go to The Beer Store.

So there it is, what I am starting this (adventure? journey? misguided attempt at reality-avoidance?) off with.