Friday, March 30, 2012

Beer tasting

Monday night we had some friends come over and do a personal "beer-tasting" event at our house. The one guy has gotten pretty heavily involved in brewing and I think he wanted to share with us what he's learned. His son-in-law (and daughter) came too, and the sil is REALLY knowledgeable about the art - I think he is maybe a "master brewer." It was neat listening to them talk about it and pretty amazing how someone can know so much about beer and brewing. Anyway, there were eight of us (plus Anna), and they brought a bunch of different kinds of beer. I had heard of a few of them (Sam Adams, Stella, etc.). But I had never heard of most of it (and some was their own). We each had a teeny tasting cup (like a shot glass), so it's not like anyone got drunk or anything. It was kinda cool.

A few things I learned...
  • I did not know that Guinness actually has fewer calories than like a Bud Light or Miller Light.
  • The states with the best breweries are: California, Colorado (I think), and then Michigan.
  • Fort Wayne has the highest tax on alcohol of any city in the country(?).
  • Following prohibition it was not legal to brew beer yourself until 1978 - the Jimmy Carter years.
  • There are basically two types of beer: Ales and Lagers. The difference is in how they're made.
  • Most of the popular beer in America today (Budweiser, Miller, etc.) was actually made for women. When prohibition ended, the war was going on, so the biggest market for beer was women.
  • Sales of domestic "brand name" beer are going down, while that made in small breweries is on a rapid rise.
There was plenty of other stuff, and I may not have even remembered all of this correctly, but it was a fun and interesting evening. Certainly something I've never done before.