Archive for the ‘education’ Category
Early bird registration pricing for the inaugural Pacific Northwest Homebrewers Conference March 4 – 5 in Vancouver, WA, ends February 16. Homebrewers from British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and beyond are invited to expand their brewing skills through two days of educational seminars, networking opportunities and evening tasting events.
It was just over three years ago when I started this blog out of frustration over the lack of craft beer coverage in the mainstream media – virtually none. In fact, they were reporting the decline of beer in favour of wine when I knew it was a generalization that completely overlooked the ferment that was happening in BC amongst the microbreweries and brewpubs. Clearly, the MSM had no idea, given their wine obsession. At the time, craft beer in Vancouver seemed like an underground subculture whose workings were known to a select few. I had started getting the word out through CAMRA Vancouver’s newsletter, but needed a means for discussing issues and covering events in more depth than e-mail. The B.C. Beer Blog was born.
Truthfully, Colin Jack was an acquaintance of mine. I can’t really say he was a friend because I didn’t actually know him well enough to honestly say we were that familiar. But if he considered me such, then, for my part, he was certainly a friend. Not that I didn’t want to get that close. It just so happened our relationship didn’t advance that far to develop to that degree.
Now that Colin has passed away, I regret we weren’t on closer terms. It reminds me of a scene in The Pianist where Wladyslaw Szpilman (played by Adrien Brody), says to his sister, Halina (played by Jessica Kate Meyer) when seeing her for the last time, “I wish I knew you better.” It underscores the rather fleeting time we have on this Earth and that we should savour the moments together to the fullest.
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.