Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How to Taste Beer Like a Pro | Event
Broad Street Brewing Co. in Reinbeck, IA

Back at the end of August, Greg and I attended Brew in the 'Loo and got our first taste of Broad Street Brewing Co.'s beer. It was love at first sip. The Reinbeck brewery's Black Porter and Sticky Wicket won out as our favorites of the whole festival. And we loved getting to visit with Trevor about his brewery and brews. Broad Street Brewing Co. when to the top of our breweries-to-visit list.  A couple weekends ago, we finally got around to it.

On November 2, we hopped in the truck and drove the hour and a half route through the country to Reinbeck, IA to spend our Saturday night learning How to Taste Beer Like a Pro. We'd been meaning to get up to Reinbeck and this event sounded too fun and interesting to pass up! Plus, we'd be learning about beer from Ann Fahy-Gust: former Director of International Quality at Guinness Brewing, brewery director of Newcastle, brewing engineer with MillerCoors. We'd really be learning from a pro!

When we pulled into the tiny town of Reinbeck, the Broad Street Brewing Co. sign glowed big and bright – couldn't miss it! Entering the small brewery, we found it to be packed with charm and beer lovers of all ages. We loved the details on the ceiling, red painted walls, chalkboard menu, and wall of glass overlooking the brewing equipment. Very cozy vibes happening here – perfect for chilly end-of-autumn nights like that one.

Since we were early for the actual event, we decided to start out with a sampler of four beers – even though we'd tried and loved most of them before. They had a delicious pumpkin brew on tap that I liked, but my beer heart still belonged to the Black Porter. Greg's favorite is the tasty Coo Coo Cachoo ESB. (But really, none of Broad Street's beers disappoint!) 

The cozy brewery soon got cozier. We slid into a booth with some other couples of all ages and from all different parts of Iowa. It was a great time with great beer, chatting with friendly Iowans about Iowa, craft beer, and homebrewing. Good people make an already fantastic event so much more fun. 

When everyone got settled, Ann Fahy-Gust took the stage (or, well, chair in this case) and taught us all How to Taste Beer Like a Pro. Greg and I have been at this beer tasting stuff for a little while now, so some of it was a review. But we learned a lot, too! Like what temperature different beers should ideally be served at. And that dark beers are often "lighter" than light beers. (Guinness does sit on top of Blue Moon or cider when you order a Black and Blue or Snakebite.) 

As our tasting glasses got filled up with different Broad Street brews, we all observed the different aspects of beer. Haziness and transparency. Head and lacing. Hops and malts. How you should actually sniff your beer with a "little rabbit nose" rather than take a big smell of it. (Rapid little sniffs help you tap into the fragrance better.) And how even the darkest beers can be seen through if you tilt the glass. (There was a hilarious moment when everyone tipped their glasses of Black Porter and Ooooh'ed at being able to see through the dark beer. Really wish I could have caught that on video!)

Lots of beer, lots of beer talk, and lots of laughter – we had an absolute blast in this little Reinbeck Brewery and can't wait to go back.

Thanks for the great time and great beer, Broad Street Brewing Co!

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