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Charlotte Beer Babes July Beer School

Why Hello Beer Babes and Beer Lovers!

This past Saturday, July 14, the Charlotte Beer Babes, led by the beautiful & beer-loving organizer Tracie, went to our inaugural Beer Babes Beer School event at World of Beer Southend.

Our Fearless Beer Babe Leader

Held the 2nd Saturday of each month, this Beer Babes school wil be a tutorial for women into the lives of various types of beer, including a variety of tastings to help the lesson sink in better. As with all good teachers, Preston started us off with the basic “Ales and Lagers” class to get our base knowledge started.

I am not going to go over everything, because WOB SE does a beer class you can sign up for as a general public person, however I did want to hit some highlights to show what we learned and how educational and informative this class is for the beer inquisitor thinking about maybe joining our Beer Events each month!

Aspects of Beer:
– Sacchrification of starches into sugar, and then fermenting of said sugars, is what makes beer.
– Grain: provides color, body, sweetness, Alcohol By Volume (ABV)
– Hops – provides bitterness, flavor, aroma
– Yeast – provides fermentation, flavor, aroma
– Water – provides majority of the liquid that makes up beer
– Sanitation – most important part of the brewing process, this is key to good beer

Yeast fements in the fermenter at 40-55 degrees for Lagers.
Yeast ferments in the fermenter at 65-72 degrees for Ales.

Beer History:
– First beer was thought to come from Mesopotamia.
– For a long time it was viewed as the women’s job to make and brew beer.
– Beer was originally brewed using fruit or honey in place of hops, in addition to various spices and herbs
– Some beer was originally brewed with narcotic herbs for a period of time, in the BC time period
– Ebla, located in Ancient Sumer, was a city that brewed beer and was the site of the oldest ‘recipe’ found for beer brewing amongst the “Ebla Tablets”
– 1800 BC – Hymn to Ninkasi – In the ancient Sumerian language, a hymn was written that in effect was a recipe for beer making, in honor of the goddess of beer, Ninkasi
– Jump ahead to AD 1067, hops become ingrained regularly in beer in place of fruits and honey, etc
– 7th Century AD found Trappist Breweries
– 15th century AD, the German Reinheitsgebot came into effect, which were basically beer Purity Laws put forth by William IV, Duke of Bavaria. This helped establish standards and expectations for beer.
– 1612 saw the first brewery in the Colonies, the brewery of Block & Christiansen
– 1789 saw George Washington set forth a “Buy American” beer policy (note: not a law, just a suggested policy)
– 20th Century saw the industrial revolution come about, which took beer-making right along with it.

Breweries:
– 1873 saw around 4000 breweries in action
– 1910 saw 1500 breweries in action
– 1919 thru 1933 saw Prohibition put into force by Congress
– 1934 saw the amendment of Prohibition, and the appearance of 756 breweries to see to the beer needs of the USA
-1969 – Cans of beer outsell bottles for the first time ever, and Fritz Maytag started the microbrewery revival with his resurgence into the Anchor Brewing product line of beer in California
– 1981 – Great American Brew Festival started in Denver, CO, and continues through today
– 1995 saw 500 breweries in action
– 2001 saw 1468 breweries in action
– 2011 saw a jump to 1989 breweries in action
– Currently, the Craft & Micro Breweries provide for over 105,000 jobs in the USA!

Sample of the awesome presentation…

Beers Tasted for Ales & Lagers Class:
Stoudts Brewing Company‘s Pils – this traditional German Pilsner was incredibly dry, and a little hoppy. It was similar, to me, to a very dry champagne in some of the flavors. If you like drier beer, you’d like this one. I personally thought it was just okay. Some of the ladies really liked it though!
New Belgium Brewing Company‘s Shift Pale Lager- New Belgium has turned out another delicious beer, this time in honor of that end-of-shift gift they give their brew teams. Coming out of a can, this hoppy, fruity, citrusy, and honey-flavored beer is a delicious lager to work across the palate anytime.
Bell’s Brewery‘s Amber Ale – my favortie brewery from my hometown strikes a great Ale profile with this Amber. Toasty, incredibly caramelly, slightly citrusy and lightly hoppy flavors roll around on your tongue for a wondereful swirl of flavor.
LoneRider Brewing Company‘s Sweet Josie – this delicious rebel of a Brown Ale has the flavor of malted milk balls (malt AND chocolate) that complement the hoppy undertones very nicely. This is a great sipper beer, or with a yummy meal.
Stone Brewing Company‘s Stone Pale Ale – this British style pale ale differs from many in that it is more amber than most pales, and has a rich hoppy flavor that winds around with the maltedness in the flavor from start to finish quite nicely.

So that is the inaugural introduction to Ales and Lagers from WOB SouthEnd and the Charlotte Beer Babes – hope to see you for the August 11th Beer School on IPAs! Until then, let me know your thoughts on these brews, and what you think of the Beer Babe events if you’ve gone! I, quite clearly, love them!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Wednesday Beer Blog: History of Beer Glasses

Hello Beer Friends,

I have been wanting to do a blog entry on beer glasses for a while. I decided to start out with a history of the original beer receptacles: steins and tankards.

Now, some of you may be going “whoa this chick is silly because clearly people were drinking beer long before then”, and you’d be right in part. However I wanted to write about the first for-beer-specifically beverage container, which is, for all intents and purposes, the tankard and stein combination.

I found a really intriguing article on Scientific American’s Blog that went over the history of beer glasses. I also found a Wikipedia page on Beer Glasses, as well as a BeerStein blog about them, and a Beer Advocate entry to finish my collection of research pages off! Whew!

So to summarize everything I learned and share the love of knowledge…and for the record anything incorrect is solely on me here!

In the late 1300s this horrible event happened that you may have heard of called The Black Plague. This horrible decades-long epidemic wiped out over 30% of Europe’s population, and highlighted quite clearly for all to see how cleanliness could actually save your life.  Because of this, some countries, like Germany, decided to wise up and get clean. German brewers were not allowed to use spoiled products to make beer anymore, and German authorities passed laws that made it mandatory to have lids or covers on all food and beverage containers. This was in hopes of keeping out the flies that were purported to have carried The Plague.

Thus the birth of the Tankard and Stein. Tankards were traditionally made out of wood, wrapped with leather or iron, and were cheaper and thus more prevalent across all levels of society. Steins were traditionally made of pewter or stone, and contained more design to them, making them more expensive and accessible mostly to the upper classes.

Over time, there were advances made in making stonewear, allowing for more sanitary Tankards to be available to the general public. The wooden and earthenware ones retained the smell and bacteria of the beers, but luckily also broke easily so were needing to be replaced often enough they don’t think this caused too much of an issue. Also, the pewter at the start of steinsbecame just as hazardous because of the lead included in the pewter metal, quite obviously a poison and thus dangerous. Over time this was also addressed and fixed so that the pewter was no longer a danger. The highest social classes also used silver, glass and porcelain in their custom steins.

Steins became a mark of social standing, including family crests, guild crests and other custom designs on them to show your worth. This became the thing to do, and doubled as being more healthy for the drinkers. Germany’s standards spread throughout Europe and eventually created a new economic field that flourished for the next couple hundred of years, between the Steins and the new way of producing beer.

Currently, tankards and steins are still used, and created with a variety of materials as well as designs. The original lid is no longer quite so important, however is usually included in new productions of these drinkwares to retain the look – though not always.

Here are some pretty cool tankards and steins I found:

Craft You Later,
Beth

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