October is a wild month for us at the Rackhouse. The Great American Beer Fest rolls into town for basically an entire week, and then our Anniversary Party / Dry Dock Brewing Tap Takeover a few weeks later has kept us busy. Throw in the fact that we added also 10 taps of incredible craft beer in October. Wowza. Here’s a recap with photos from our 2012 Liquid Education: Beer School at the Rackhouse Pub.
We had four beer school sessions on a variety of topics. It was really incredible to have so many wonderful speakers from the beer industry come to educate us. Each session was educational, especially when you can drink your homework! We sincerely thank the industry professionals who came to speak and all of you who came to listen and sample. We’re already game-planning 2013. Have a suggestion for a 2013 beer school class? Leave a comment below.
Sensory Training 101 with Gwen Conley
On Tuesday October 9, 2012 our good friend from Lost Abbey / Pizza Port Gwen Conley was back for another sensory training to kick off Beer School this year. Gwen had a series of sensory vials and asked the students to identify each of the 20+ vials (like lavender, coffee, etc.). We then spiked some very tasteless and odorless Mass market light beer (that shall remain nameless) with a few off-flavors. People then discussed what they were tasting and finally Gwen let us know what we should have been tasting. As usual, this sold out event was incredible.
Yeast 101 with Ro Guenzel and Neva Parker
Wednesday 10-10 we had Ro Guenzel, Head Brewer from Left Hand Brewing and White Labs’ Yeast Guru Neva Parker come to talk about yeast strains and how they affect the brewing process. We learned about the history of yeast and how it is used in brewing, and sampled some beer brewed up at Left Hand. Each beer had the same malts, hops and brewing process (based on Left Hand’s Sawtooth recipe), and the only thing that changed in each beer was the type of yeast used. We got to sample each style while Ro & Neva helped us learn the differences between yeast strains.
Hops 101 with Kevin DeLange and Justin Livengood
On Thursday, October 11 we had Kevin DeLange, Owner of Dry Dock Brewing Company and Brewer’s Supply Group’s Justin Livengood on hand to discuss hops. We learned about when hops were first documented and how they came to be used in beer. Dry Dock brewer Walt Chleva was also around to discuss the four beers single-hop Dry Dock brewed. The recipe and process between all 4 beers was exactly the same but the hop variety was substituted so that attendees could get a better understanding of how the flavor & aroma change based entirely on the hop usage.
Sours 101 with Andy Parker, Chad Yakobsen and Troy Casey
On Friday, October 12 we had the heavy hitters of Colorado’s sour beer scene on hand to talk Sours 101. Andy Parker from Avery Brewing Company., Chad Yakobsen from Crooked Stave Artisan Project and Troy Casey from AC Golden talked about many aspects of sour beer, from technical details to when to open a commercial bottle of sour beer. The consensus was that the sours generally released from breweries are meant to be consumed now. We also had 9 of their best sours, including Avery’s Immitis, Crooked Stave’s Wild Wild Brett Batch One, and Ac Golden’s American Wild Ale. Hard to find beers, all special in their own way. What an incredible end to Beer School 2012!