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Charlotte Beer Babes September Beer School

Hello Beer Fiends!

We had another monthly beer education class at World Of Beer Southend with the Charlotte Beer Babes. Due to Charlotte’s DNC event, this event was on the 3rd Saturday of the month, not the normal 2nd Saturday, and was still a pretty darned great time!

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes

Beer Babes Learning!

Preston led us Beer Babes through a wonderfully detailed, yet concise, history of Belgian Beers.

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes

Beer Teacher

Among the fun facts we learned were:
– Belgian beers originated around the early Crusades, and started when the Catholic Church requisitioned beer from the Abbeys for safer drinking
– Original Belgian Beers had very low alcohol contents since were used primarily in place of the unsafe drinking water
– In order to be a Trappist brewery, you have to be funded by the church, all proceeds have to go back to the church (basically making it a non-profit), and has to be brewed solely by the Monks.

The 7 Belgian Trappist Breweries in existence today are:
– Chimay
– Roquefort
– Orval
– Westmalle
– Westvleteran
– Achel
– LaTrappe

Now, onto the actual beers that we taste-tested…. dun dun dun!

First up, we had Witterkerke Blik (aka White Church) from Brouwerij Bavik, a 5% ABV White Belgian beer that had an incredibly light taste to it. This belgian white wheat beer has flavors of citrus and wheat throughout, and is incredibly light in flavor, aroma and weight (when drinking). As a Belgian White, it’s a good one to try to get into the style for those coming from the lighter side of beer drinking (Miller/Bud or even Mikes) into more craft beers, as it is not super strong. This would be a good sipper if you’re just wanting something really light on a hot day.

charlotte beer babes world of beer belgian beer tasting

A Blogger (okay, me) and THE Beer Babe enjoying a White Church!

Second, we have the Delirium Tremens by Brouwerij Huyghe’s – aka the Pink Elephant. This beer jumps us up to 8.5% ABV, and ups the ante on taste and flavor considerably. This malty and spicy beer has a heartier flavor and aroma, while still not going into the realm of “dark beers” with extra heaviness added into it. The fruity flavors are very subtle when drinking this beer, but if you’re paying attention you’ll find them. Alongside the peppery malted spice note, of course! I think “Pink Elephant” alone as a nickname means that everyone should have to try this beer at least once. But that’s just me and my memories of Dumbo and Fantasia talking, I’m sure!

Third to bat is the favorite of mine for the day: Saint Bernardus’s Pater 6. Don’t let the design and name fool you – this is not a Trappist Brewery, but a for-profit brewery. This beer was like malted carmel and dark brown sugar explosion, with almost a dark cherry or currant undertone. It was my favorite in part for the smoothness of the drink, but also because it’s a rich, dark beer. Even though it’s a 6.75% ABV beer, you don’t feel that in each sip, which is nice.

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes pater 6

Pater 6!

At this point in the tasting, we did a quick poll to see who liked which beer best. Halfway title went to Pater 6, though the Delirium Tremens came in a close second. A few did like the Blik, but most of us liked the other two better. 😉

Back to the beer tasting… Choice Number Four: Chimay Triple, aka “Cinq Cents”, which was the only Trappist beer that we tried. This 8% ABV beer was delicious, a little hoppy, a lot carmelly with a hint of apples, and very smooth up until the end where you get a little spice and bitterness in the aftertate, which isn’t unpleasant at all. This beer is a bit heavier, but the flavors are enough that you don’t have to have multiples to enjoy all the flavors fully. This was probably my second favorite of the day, tied with the last beer. I do love my hearty beers, after all!

Last beer to bat was the Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / De Halve Maan’s Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel, which was a great end to the day’s tasting. This super dark, malty, dark carmelized brown sugar, and dark candied berry flavors were delicious and went very well as an ending to a Belgian Beer Tasting. This beer also has an 11% ABV rating, and it’s not up front in the flavor at all. This is more of a sipper beer for me, something to go with a stew or hearty dessert, and doesn’t detract in flavor with time when sipping. That, for me, is key. I recommend this beer for hearty and dark beer lovers. I also think it’s a good one for non-dark beer lovers to try because it is very smooth and not bitter.

Tomorrow, I will post about what I made to go with the Beer for the tasting: scratch-made Belgian Chocolate Truffles! So come back and see me! Let me know if you’ve had any of these beers before, and what your thoughts are about them! Or if you’re a fellow beer babe, let me know what you thought of the event!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Saturday Belgian Beer Class

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the Charlotte Beer Babes monthly Beer Class at World Of Beer Southend!

charlotte beer babes women beer tasting group

Tomorrow, Preston will enthrall us with a tour through the world of Belgian Beers, complete with a multitude of tastings that he has chosen just for us!

Now, now, don’t expect me to spoil the surprise of the beers – for that and many other reasons, Preston doesn’t let us know what his special selections are until we get to the class!

So if you’re in the Charlotte area on Saturday, September 15, come join us Beer Babes as we enter the world of Belgium through this wonderful class and tasting adventure for $10!

I am going to be making Chocolate Truffles to go with our beer tastings, and everyone is encouraged to bring a light munchie to share with at least your table since no food is served at WOB. If you want to come with friends, or come alone to make new friends – you’re welcome either way!

Guys, sorry, but if you show up, you’ll be sequestered with the other ‘token babes’ across the way from our class. This is the Beer Babes women-only beer class, after all!

We hope to see you out there tomorrow, as it will be a fantastic time!

Also, don’t forget to check out my 100th Blog Post and enter your name (via comment) by Sunday at midnight for a chance to win a personalized wine or pint glass from yours truly! 😉

Craft You Later,
Beth

Charlotte Beer Babes August Beer School

Why Hello Beer Babes and Beer Lovers!

This past Saturday, August 11, the Charlotte Beer Babes, led by the beautiful & beer-loving organizer Tracie, went to our second Beer Babes Beer School event at World of Beer Southend.

Held the 2nd Saturday of each month, this Beer Babes school is a tutorial for women into the lives of various types of beer, including a variety of tastings to help the lesson sink in better. Our fearless teacher, Preston, continued the learning with a focus on IPA style beers.

For this event, we did add in a ‘bring an appetizer or snack to bolster you’ note for all participants. I actually made some for the group, which you can check out (they paired AWEsome with the Ghost Hop and Death by Hops, in particular) here (Asparagus & BBQ Rumaki, and Island Chicken Kotopitas)!

charlott beer babes ipa beer tasting

Charlotte Beer Babes Try Out IPAs and Appetizers!

IPA History:
First off, IPA styles came about in the 1800s when India was a British Colony. British soldiers stationed in India complained because the beer tasted horrid when it reached them in-country via shipping vessels. The brewers started adding extra hops, which were known for preservation, and sending over to India-residing troops. The original name of this style of beer was, wait for it…. “Pale Ale as prepared for India”. Yup. That mouthful was the full name. Kind of reminiscent of the mouthful of hops it contained, when you think about it, huh?!?

So next, the soldiers return to England and, after drinking PAAPFI for so long, they started requesting it at their British pubs back home. In 1835, George Hodgson of Bow Brewery started making IPA officially…at a whopping 4% ABV! And from there, IPA exploded like the hop-flavor it’s known for!

Fast forward to present day, you will find three main styles of IPA available:
1) English Style: 5-7.5% ABV, 40-60 IBUs (hoppiness) and 8-13 SRM (color).
2) American Style: 5.5-7.5% ABV, 40-75 IBUs, and 4-15 SRM.
3) Imperial/Double Styles: 7.5-10% ABV, 60-120 IBUs, and 8-15 SRM.

Fun fact, the human palate can only process up to or around 120 IBUs. After that it’s hard or impossible to distinguish. (Any error in that statement is mine, as my shorthand notes could just suck.)

So on to the beers that we tasted! Being in North Carolina, with an ABV limit, we had a little bit of limitation on our selection, but thankfully there is such a wide selection within NC standards, that we had 6 wonderful options presented to us by Preston!

1) Dogfish Head‘s 60-Minute IPA: this brew is extra-hopped, 1 extra hop addition every minute for an hour, to be precise! This English-style IPA has a very citrusy and grassy flavor and aroma, and a 6% ABV & 60 IBU profile are evident in this delicious and hoppy treat.

2) Noda Brewing Company‘s Ghost Hop: this white IPA is made with witbier yeast and Northwest hops to give a citrus and pine aroma for this light and hoppy beer. Coming in at 5.9% ABV with 70 IBUs and an SRM of 3.7, this is definitely a unique and delicious choice for hop-loving beer drinkers that also like lighter citrus flavors.

3) Uinta Brewing‘s Dubhe: this Imperial Black IPA was delicious, and probably my favorite of the bunch. Toasted malt, chocolate and hemp seed flavors united beautifully with a strong hoppiness for this dark IPA, which comes in at 9.2% ABV, 109 IBUs and with an SRM of 110! This is more a beer that those who like porters and stouts would enjoy, versus the lighter ales and lagers. However it is definitely one that I think most would enjoy on a cool winter’s eve when you want something hearty yet hoppy!

4) Olde Hickory Brewery‘s Death By Hops: with 7% ABV and 108 IBUs, this incredibly hoppy American-style IPA contains 20 grams of hops per pint! The brew gets 71 pounds of hops added to it throughout the process, and leaves a very hoppy and citrusy flavor, with a lightly piney aroma, in the finished product.

5) Noda Brewing Company‘s Noda RyeZ’ed: this double rye IPA is a spicy and 7-hop-blend creation by Charlotte’s own Noda Brewing Company. This is one of my favorite Rye IPA’s that I’ve tasted, as it has a zing of spice, a hoppy flavor that intertwines with the spice, and an aroma that has hops and spice in it. This is a beer that is 8.65% ABV, with 90 IBUs and an SRM of 12. Definitely worth trying!

And the final beer we tried was….

6) Green Flash‘s Imperial IPA: this San Diego-bred beer is 9.4% ABV with 101 IBUs to it. This beer had an intense pine aroma, and a very hoppy and citrusy flavor. It is in the style of the “San Diego IPA”, a new subset of American IPAs, which is a beer that’s “pale in color, super-hoppy, high-gravity, yet a highly quaffable ale”. This was a pretty intense hop session in your mouth, not going to lie, and it was definitely a good note to end the class on IPAs with for the day!

So that is today’s entry, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it! I know those of us at the event had a blast (including with Dad-tuck-interloper-dude’s wonderful distraction), and we all cannot wait for the next class, September’s Belgian Beer Course! Hope to see you there ladies!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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

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