School of Beer
When I was at The Granville Room for the Garrett Oliver Brooklyn Brewmaster’s Dinner, diners were given a pre-dinner drink of Brooklyn Lager. What I found a little disconcerting was that the bartender was just opening the bottle and giving it to people. Of course you could ask for a glass, but that’s not the issue.
What’s the problem, you wonder? It doesn’t matter so much when you’re drinking a near frozen, characterless lager because it’s supposed to have minimal taste that offends no one. With a flavourful beer, however, a large part of enjoying the full experience it has to offer is smelling the aroma. (Note: that’s what aroma hops are for.) It’s hard to smell much from the small opening of a bottle when your mouth is covering it up while drinking from it. That’s like trying to eat a nice meal with congested sinuses — not terribly exciting. With a glass, however, there is ample room for the aroma to reach your nose, even stick your schnoz inside. No more absent-minded drinking. You can’t help but notice the taste of the beer.
This is why establishments should not be serving (and you shouldn’t be drinking) craft beer from a bottle. You will be cheated out of its full potential enjoyment. So why don’t many bartenders and servers know this? Because their managers don’t know this either. They should; they are supposed to be professionals.
Fortunately, there is an opportunity for those in the hospitality industry to gain an understanding of beer — the history, ingredients, brewing methods, styles, handling, proper serving, and tasting. The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is offering an eight-week programme taught by Canada’s first Certified Cicerone, Chester Carey. Students will master a complete vocabulary of beer terms through weekly guided tastings. Successful completion of this program will prepare individuals for the Certified Cicerone Beer Server examination.
When: every Wednesday for eight weeks, starting September 9, 2009
Time: 6:30 – 9:30pm
Where: Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, 1505 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
Cost: $475.00 plus GST, includes beer tastings, textbook, and certificate of completion
Registration: call (604) 734-4488 or download PICA’s Short Programs Registration Form and return by fax to (604) 734-4408
Spaces are filling fast. The last day for registration is September 4.