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Beer Appreciation

Derek Springer
September 28, 2013

Beer Appreciation

The presentation I gave on beer appreciation and pairings at the Automattic 2013 Grand Meetup.

Derek Springer

September 28, 2013

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  1. Free Powerpoint Templates • We don’t give beer the attention

    that it deserves. • Beer connects us to the past, the present, and future. • Beer is both broad and dynamic, able to fit into any situation. • Rich or poor, beer brings people together in a way other spirits do not. Why Appreciate Beer?
  2. Free Powerpoint Templates • Use proper glassware! • Never frost

    your glass! • Let your beer warm up a bit! • Don’t be a snob! A Quick PSA
  3. Free Powerpoint Templates • Try a sip of the beer,

    a bite of cheese, then another sip. • Be careful with having crackers or bread overpower pairings. • Consider saving some beer and cheese to try your own combos with other beers. Tasting Tips
  4. Free Powerpoint Templates • This pairing features an interplay between

    the bitter, citrusy IPA and the sharp, acidic aged cheddar. • The sharpness of the cheddar is enough to stand up to the potent IPA and the citrus and tanginess of the cheese complement each other. Pairing #1 Simtra IIIPA - 11.25% ABV Aged Sharp Cheddar
  5. Free Powerpoint Templates How to Taste Step 1: Smell •

    Smell the beer before anything else; some scents are very volatile. • Swirl the beer in the glass and take quick sniffs; emulate how a dog smells things. • Be aware of memory flashbacks the aromas conjure.
  6. Free Powerpoint Templates How to Taste Step 2: Look and

    Sip • Take a good look at the beer and note color, clarity, head character, and retention. • Take a sip and let the liquid linger on your tongue. • Note tastes such as acidity, sweetness, and bitterness. • Note mouthfeel sensations such as body, carbonation, astringency, or oiliness.
  7. Free Powerpoint Templates How to Taste Step 3: Taste w/

    Your Nose • Take another sip and try to volatilize some aromas into your nasal cavity. • Steal the technique wine folks use called “aspiration.” • Look for anything sticking out awkwardly. Any off-flavors or harshness?
  8. Free Powerpoint Templates How to Appreciate • More than just

    drinking a lot of beer (though that helps). • You’ve got to learn about the beer you’re drinking. ◦ You can’t appreciate what you don’t understand. • Tie your beer experience into the entire universe of sensations in your “dictionary.”
  9. Free Powerpoint Templates How to Appreciate • Learn the characteristics

    of a style, it’s history • As you drink a beer, take some notes on: ◦ Aroma ◦ Appearance ◦ Flavor ◦ Mouthfeel ◦ Overall “intangibles”
  10. Free Powerpoint Templates • The goal of this pairing is

    to create the sensation of a liquid grilled cheese sandwich. • The soft, creamy Camembert paired with the toasty brown ale are like gooey grilled cheese on toasty bread. Pairing #2 Nut Brown - 5% ABV Camembert dell’Alta Langa
  11. Free Powerpoint Templates What is Beer? • Alcoholic beverage created

    from fermenting the sugars extracted from grains. • For the last ~600 years made from malted grain, hops, and yeast. • Before that, an assortment of herbs called gruit. • Sake is beer!
  12. Free Powerpoint Templates * What is Wine? • Alcoholic beverage

    created from fermenting the sugars extracted from fruit. • Cider is an apple wine!
  13. Free Powerpoint Templates A Brief History of Beer • 10,000

    BCE - Neolithic people of the fertile crescent begin cultivating grasses into the wheat and barley we know. • ??? • Mashing is discovered.
  14. Free Powerpoint Templates A Brief History of Beer • 3,000

    BCE - Civilization forms to support grain cultivation. ◦ Some say so more beer could be brewed. • Sumerians master brewing.
  15. Free Powerpoint Templates A Brief History of Beer • 0

    CE - Barrels are invented (by beer drinking barbarians). • Spirits are now able to be transported to new regions.
  16. Free Powerpoint Templates A Brief History of Beer • 500

    CE - Picts in the British Isles develop beers using heather and other herbs. • Gruit would be the dominant beer of the dark ages.
  17. Free Powerpoint Templates A Brief History of Beer • 1000

    CE - Hops start being used in beer • Wouldn’t be dominant until almost 1500 CE due to church-mandated gruit tax.
  18. Free Powerpoint Templates A Brief History of Beer • 1700’s

    CE - Industrial Revolution starts in England. • Porter become first industrially produced beer.
  19. Free Powerpoint Templates A Brief History of Beer • 1700

    - 1900 CE - Lots and lots of science: ◦ Steam power ◦ Thermometer ◦ Hydrometer ◦ Refrigeration ◦ Kilning ◦ Pasteurization ◦ Yeast discovery & isolation
  20. Free Powerpoint Templates A Brief History of Beer • 1842

    CE - The town of Plzeň develops the pale lager (aka the Pilsner) and sets the world ablaze.
  21. Free Powerpoint Templates • This pairing is probably hundreds of

    years old--stilton was originally meant to be eaten with beer. • The fruity maltiness of the barleywine push back against of the salty pungency of the cheese. Pairing #3 Old Numbskull - 11% ABV Aged Stilton
  22. Free Powerpoint Templates What is Beer Made Of? • Water

    (primary ingredient!) ◦ Water minerals created the styles we have today. • Malted grains ◦ Wheat, barley, rye, rice • Adjuncts ◦ Corn, sugar, spices • Hops ◦ Bitterness, flavor, aroma • Yeast (actually make the beer) ◦ Contribute significantly to the flavor.
  23. Free Powerpoint Templates How is Beer Made? Step 1: Malting

    • Raw grains are allowed to germinate and sprout. • Sprouted grains are dried and kilned to a variety of temps.
  24. Free Powerpoint Templates How is Beer Made? Step 2: Mashing

    • Malt is milled and hot water is added in mash tun, activating natural enzymes. • Enzymes convert starch in malt to sugars (yeast food).
  25. Free Powerpoint Templates How is Beer Made? Step 3: Lautering

    • Sweet wort is extracted from grains in a Lauter Tun. • Barley husks provide a natural filter!
  26. Free Powerpoint Templates How is Beer Made? Step 4: Boil

    • Wort is heated to boiling and hops are thrice added: ◦ Bittering, flavor, aroma • Sterilizes wort and removes some bad flavors.
  27. Free Powerpoint Templates How is Beer Made? Step 5: Yeast

    • Bitter wort is cooled to 45F - 65F and yeast is added. • It is now beer! “Brewers make wort, yeast make beer.” • Yeast take 1-2 weeks to work.
  28. Free Powerpoint Templates • The tart cherry of the kriek

    is acting like the fruit topping of the cheesecake. • Fruit & cream are classic pairings and the cookie crumb crust rounds them out with nice breadiness. Pairing #4 Oude Kriek Vieille - 6.5% ABV Vanilla Cheesecake
  29. Free Powerpoint Templates Qualities of Beer • Many attributes come

    together to create the beer you see before you. ◦ Strength ◦ Color ◦ Bitterness/Balance ◦ Carbonation • These are the things you think of when you experience a beer.
  30. Free Powerpoint Templates Some Vocabulary • Mineral - taste, aroma

    • Metallic - taste • Malty - taste (roasted), aroma • Bitter - taste • Hoppy - aroma • Oxidized - aroma, taste • Buttery - aroma, taste • Phenolic - aroma • Estery - aroma • Alcohol/Hot -aroma, sensation
  31. Free Powerpoint Templates Gravity • This is the density of

    wort and the final beer. ◦ Measures sugars present. • Difference between original gravity (OG) and final gravity (FG) calculates alcohol. • Roughly measures how strong a beer will be. ◦ 1.050 OG ~= 5% ◦ 1.060 OG ~= 6%
  32. Free Powerpoint Templates Alcohol & Attenuation • Ethanol is the

    main product of fermentation, expressed in percent of volume (ABV) or weight (ABW). • Attenuation is the amount of gravity converted to alcohol. ◦ High OG doesn’t always mean high ABV. • Brewers spend a lot of effort controlling attenuation levels.
  33. Free Powerpoint Templates Hops & Balance • Measured in International

    Bitterness Units (IBU). • Bitterness comes from isomerized alpha acids. • Hop bitterness balances malt sweetness and the balance is important for “drinkability.” • Hops also contribute pleasant aromatic and flavor compounds.
  34. Free Powerpoint Templates Haze & Clarity • People have always

    been bonkers about clear beer. • Haze comes from multiple sources: ◦ Proteins in wort (chill haze) ◦ Yeast ◦ Old, mishandled beer ◦ Infection :( • Some beers are hazy on purpose! (usually wheat)
  35. Free Powerpoint Templates Carbonation & Foam • Another product of

    yeast respiration -> CO2. • Beer’s unique protein structure causes foam (proteins form a colloid). • Probably the most complex aspect of beer! • Sign of a well made beer (and a clean glass).
  36. Free Powerpoint Templates • Notes of molasses, caramel, chocolate and

    licorice from the beer mix with the creamy vanilla ice cream. • Bitter + sweet • Chocolate + vanilla Pairing #5 Sea Monster Imperial Stout 11.25% ABV Vanilla Ice Cream
  37. Free Powerpoint Templates Beer & Food • Beer & food

    transform each other: ◦ Contrasting elements balance and blend. ◦ Create a powerful, singular experience. • Beer can overcome problems wine can’t solve. • Roast/carb/bitterness push back against strong flavors.
  38. Free Powerpoint Templates Strength w/ Strength • Delicate dishes work

    best with delicate beers. • Strongly flavored foods demand assertive beers. • Intensity of flavor is no single thing, but a sum of the taste experience. • Richness, sweetness, method, and spicing all play a role.
  39. Free Powerpoint Templates Harmonies • Combinations often work best when

    they share common flavor and aroma elements. • Consider both the ingredients and the method of prep. • Roasted, caramelized, or grilled flavors are key to resonant elements.
  40. Free Powerpoint Templates Contrasting Elements • Certain qualities of food

    and beer interact with each other in certain, predictable ways. • Taking advantage of these interactions can balance the elements. • Sweet/fatty/umami balanced by bitterness/roast/alcohol and carbonation. • Hoppy beer enhances spice!