Week 2 of the Prud'homme Beer Certification in-class sessions started off with a quiz, testing what we'd retained from the week before. As it turns out, even in beer school there are no exceptions for your birthday when it comes to quizzes! I should have done my homework!
We then dove into the history of beer, which, of course, was discovered by a women! This certainly doesn't surprise me. I know that in Ottawa alone there is a large population of women who love craft beer. This is evident from the fact that 6 of the 14 participants in the class are women and some are members of Barley's Angels Ottawa, a chapter of a world-wide organization dedicated to encouraging education and interest in beer among women. Girl Power!
Before moving on to the beer tasting, we touched on the importance of beer glasses and how they can affect the taste of a beer – who knew!? I did know that beer glasses are made in different shapes to reflect the type of beer, however it was enlightening to hear how each glass is designed to bring out the flavours/aromas of specific beer. In June I attended the American Craft Beer Festival in Boston and while there got to visit the Sam Adam's Brewery where they've perfected their very own lager glass. So much is taken into consideration to enhance a beer lover's experience, from the shape of the glass to where your hand is positioned on the glass to prevent heat transfer.
This week's beer tasting featured lagers, and I found a new favorite in Kostritzer's Schwartzbier, a black lager that reminded me of a milder version of one of my favorite beers; Spearhead Moroccan Brown. Between rounds of chomping on dry saltines and swishing our mouths with water, we tasted 4 very different lagers.
It goes without mentioning that the beer tasting is my favorite part of the sessions, but it's not only because after talking about beer for over an hour, I'm craving one like nobodys business, but it's actually fun to compare amongst us what each of us are smelling/tasting. It's a type of learning process that I definitely can get used to!
Next week is proper pouring/storing techniques and wheat beers so stay tuned!