Last Thursday, I was walking the San Francisco sidewalks and it was hot. Nick Schrader told me that Delarosa on Chestnut Street has a great craft beer selection so I bellied up to the bar and ordered a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale, Le Merle, from North Coast Brewing. A few minutes later, a customer walked in and asked for a beer from Headlands Brewing, a local brewery. He downed the rye IPA in two gulps. When I asked him why he drank so quickly, he said, "I met the brewer and there could be a job in it for me. He suggested I try the beer." My eyes grew wide. I replied, "Don't let the brewer see you drink his beer! Not if you want the job." The bartender, who had been listening, playfully responded, "There's no wrong way to drink a beer." If you have friends with similar drinking habits or who simply want to explore tasting beer, share this video. It unearths some basics: appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and character. BTW, what would you have said to the beer-gobbling customer?
My daughter, Nicolette, gave me this culinary laser thermometer several years ago. Like my trusty Thermapen, this gadget was recruited into the home brewery. While the Thermapen is used throughout the brewing process for assessing liquid temperature, this bad boy is ideal for determining surface temperature. Assessing surface temperature is helpful when you are looking for the right spot to ferment a saison or farmhouse ale -- beers that don't require housing in a chest freezer. An added benefit: This gadget makes me feel like I'm in a James Bond picture.
Homebrewer and recognized beer judge