I’ve always heard that beer temperature must stay cold at all times or to let it change temperatures gradually to preserve the best flavor. Many distributors and stores can’t keep all the beer cold all the time, they only have so much refrigerator space. This means that the beer you buy from Kroger or Cappy’s has likely been warm at some point in its life. But what is the effect of that temperature changing? Let’s find out!
I’ve always heard that beer needs to be stored cold and stay cold until you drink it. They also say that temperature fluctuations, going from cold to warm and back again, are terrible for beer. However, I’ve never seen any tests done on this, so I’m going to do a test.
It is hard to find classes to learn about beer, and even harder to find ones with great teachers. Luckily two of our local breweries have started just such classes!
The Bird Haus Beer Series
The Bird Haus bills itself as “Cincinnati’s migrating classroom” where different organizations in the community will host classes on whatever they’re good at. In this case, Rhinegeist is hosting a series of 3 classes: The History of Rhinegeist, All of the Senses, and Study Abroad English Style Ales. I wasn’t aware of the History of Rhinegeist class, but as soon as I learned about All of the Senses I snapped up tickets. An off-flavor class hosted by Rhinegeist head brewer and BJCP National level judge Jim Matt? I’m there!!
Jim led us through the brewing process before pouring us samples of the off-flavors. He used Cougar as the base beer then added different chemicals to it to create a few common off-flavors.
We got to try each off-flavor then discuss and guess what we thought they were. I got half right. Luckily you rarely encounter these issues in homebrew competitions or production breweries. If you are a homebrewer or just curious about how beer can go bad I’d urge you to go to the next class like this. Which, as far as I know, will be next month at MadTree, but more on that soon.
The next Bird Haus/Rhinegeist class is all about the English beer tradition. There are still tickets available for that here. Unfortunately that’s all that’s scheduled for now, but hopefully they’ll line up more classes soon.
Luckily MadTree is kicking off their own Beer Class series!
MadTree Beer Class Series
One day last month I saw this pop-up on MadTree’s Facebook page and immediately snatched up tickets. Head brewer Jeff Hunt led the first class which focused on beer recipe formulation.
We received a great peek into his process for making beers and how the recipe comes together to result in the flavor profile he’s after. The classroom was in MadTree’s front room and homebrewers packed the house. Jeff skipped past the homebrew basics and led us into a discussion that sailed over my head on occasion. We were also treated to a few behind the scene bits about MadTree’s setup.
It wasn’t all just theoretical discussion of how Jeff makes a beer. We sampled 6 MadTree beers and learned why they are what they are, from idea to recipe, to name. Somehow I never knew that Happy Amber’s name came about because of a text auto-correction from Hoppy to Happy.
MadTree just posted the video of the Recipe Formulation class up on YouTube. Go check it out!
I can’t recommend the average beer enthusiast check out this class if they do it again. It was very homebrewer focused and in-depth. Luckily, MadTree has a slate of ideas for other classes lined up! The next class, set for April 22nd, is “Ask us anything”, tickets are already available here for $20 each. Sounds like a good opportunity to pick some of the brewer’s brains about everything from how they got into brewing to their beard care regimen.
May’s class hasn’t been fully nailed down yet though I’m told it’s May 19th and focus on flavor identification. This sounds like what I did at Rhinegeist. If you homebrew, are a beer judge and want a refresher, or are just curious about what can go right and wrong in beer then you’ll want to get tickets to this class.
From the sounds of it MadTree has a few more ideas up their sleeves for various classes. I’m extremely happy that they’re doing this, Rhinegeist has done it, and hopefully more local breweries will catch on with the idea.
[Ed. Note: Earlier this month I introduced you to the Beer Judge Certification Program and mentioned that Lindsay from Love Beer, Love Food would be covering the Certified Cicerone Program. If you enjoy her article here, please follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog. I promise she’s got loads of great beer & food info. – Tom]
Hey there! I’m Lindsay, and I write a website called Love Beer, Love Food which is all about beer, home brewing, and cooking. Since I am a Certified Cicerone®, Tom asked me to come onto his lovely site here and explain more about the Cicerone program. As Tom mentioned, there are actually two kinds of ‘beer experts’ out there – Certified Beer Judge, which Tom recently achieved (hooray!), and Certified Cicerone® (pronounced sis-uh-rohn).
Edit 4 years later: Some of this info is slightly out of date, like Ohio’s ABV cap, but the vast majority is still highly relevant.
When I talked to bottle shop and bar owners about my series on the 3 tier system one of their concerns and challenges was dealing with beer allocations. Each store generally only gets so much of each beer. Craft breweries are just too popular and too small to fulfill every demand for their beer in every store in every state. So read on to learn more about beer allocations and, most importantly, for the master magician (that’s me) to reveal his secrets on getting those rarer beers!
I’m happy to bring news and a review of a new beer book coming out The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes (buy on Amazon) by Joshua M. Bernstein. Continue reading “Book Review: The Complete Beer Course”
[Ed. Note: This was first published in May 2013 when MadTree was only a few months old. The core of what follows is correct, but their canning machine has now (at least as of May 2016) grown tremendously.]
In my quest to continue to shed light on the less glamorous or well-known aspects of beer I’m moving onto an incredibly important one, essential the question of how this delicious liquid gets into containers to get transferred into our bellies!
Beer gravity is certainly not one of the best well-known aspects of beer. I would argue, however, that it’s one of the most important aspects. Some people, and indeed most craft beer lovers, are familiar with a few beers of different strengths. Knowing these different strengths, you are already aware of the effects of gravity and what the change in gravity reaps, even if you don’t know that you know that yet. So let’s collectively extend our beer knowledge to what brewers mean by gravity.
It’s easy to tell the difference between a stout and a Helles lager, but an imperial stout vs a stout vs a porter gets trickier. On top of that many brewers are equal thirds beer lover, mad scientist, and nerd. These things have led to the creation of the Standard Reference Method, abbreviated to SRM.
Hello again my friends,
Today I am starting a semi-occasional series of posts I like to refer to as the L.A.B. series, or Learning About Beer. The aim of this series is to try to spread beer knowledge. Lots of sites, like ours, review beers, but not too many espouse upon general beer knowledge. So my aim is to try to bring to light different styles, traditions, ingredients, processes or, in this case, a term you may have seen here or there. To put it simply, the Reinheitsgebot is a list of what can go into beer and folks in Cincinnati are big fans of it. To put it more complexly, read on!