Each edition of BREW-ed’s column will cover a variety of topics related to the beer industry. This week, there is news of some interesting trends out of Europe, a beer related job opportunity for those who don’t work in the beer industry and the answer to a question I’ve been asked a million times while working behind the bar.
Do You Work In Construction And Want To Be A Part Of The New Belgium Project?
New Belgium Brewing is inviting local subcontractors out for a meet-and-greet event from 3-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9 at the ISIS Music Hall. Adolfson and Peterson, the general contractor selected to head the new brewery project, will have representatives on hand to discuss how more local businesses can be a part of the building process. This is another great example of how the brewing industry benefits our area even if the jobs aren’t directly beer related.
New Belgium will also host a neighbor construction meeting on Friday, Jan. 10. All neighbors living within 1 mile of the site will receive a letter by the first few days in January with more information about this meeting and more.
German Brewers Look To U.S. Craft Beer For Inspiration
German brewers spent hundreds of years working under strict purity laws that limited their ingredient choices to barley, hops, water and (later) yeast. Though the laws are no longer enforced, tradition has kept most German brewers from venturing too far when it comes to creativity. Great German beers are examples of perfecting traditional styles, not pushing the envelope. Recently, though, there has been a growing interest in finding new flavors that fit within those traditional guidelines. The US craft beer explosion has inspired German brewers to experiment with traditional ingredients in new ways. Many brewers are ordering new varieties of hops from the US and Australia/New Zealand that offer more bold citrus, fruit and resinous characteristics than their traditional German varieties. That bright citrus character from your favorite American IPA might just turn up in a German Pilsner one day.
Behind The Bar: why did my bartender just spray my glass with water?
You just ordered a beer and you see your bartender grab a glass and turn it upside down over some kind of spring-loaded device. A burst of liquid shoots inside the glass. What was it? Sanitizer? Some sort of chilling device? The answer – water. By rinsing a clean glass before pouring beer into it, the bartender is ensuring that the glass doesn’t have any residual sanitizer left over from the dishwashing process. Those chemicals can affect the aroma and flavor of your beer, even if they aren’t harmful to consume. Also, wetting the inside of the glass makes it easier to control the amount of head on the beer. If you pour a beer into a dry glass, the wet, bubbly beer hitting the dry glass causes foam. If the inside is wet, there is less friction and the beer pours better. As a general rule, if a bar takes the time to rinse your glass before pouring, it means they take pride in serving great beer.
Cliff Mori is the owner and operator of BREW-ed, which offers brewery tours and a variety of beer training in Asheville. He was the first Certified Cicerone in Western North Carolina (the beer equivalent to the wine world’s sommelier), then began working for the Cicerone Certification Program by traveling around the U.S. proctoring exams. Cliff also teaches a variety of beer-related courses at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.