Scholarship Recipients
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May
13
Kris McDowell
Road to Cicerone® Courses Educational Series Scholarship Recipients Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce the two recipients of the 2019 Road to Cicerone® Courses Educational Series scholarship. Each was chosen by a selection committee of experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers.

Cherokee Robbins of Alvarium Beer Co. in New Britain, CT is the national recipient and was selected to receive this scholarship by the committee because, “she depicts great knowledge already about craft beer and displays a yearning for more, aspiring to use this scholarship in order to advance her career. The foundation is there and she definitely sounds ready to move forward with an industry recognized qualification.”

Cherokee’s passion for craft beer started six years ago when she transitioned from the restaurant industry to working as a bartender. One of the first things that struck her was, “the intricacies when it comes to hand-producing craft beer.” Inspired by what she was learning she made time outside of her job to educate herself on various brands and styles so she could hold well-informed conversations with patrons. Her drive and interest was recognized by management and she was promoted to beer bar manager where she not only sought out different styles and rare beers to add to their line up but made it a point to educate the waitstaff and bartenders about the products.

Last October she continued her path into the brewing industry by taking a Sales Representative position with Alvarium where she is a brand ambassador and seller of their products to consumers and retailers. She is looking forward to gaining, “a better comprehension and thorough background about the brewing business itself, in addition to the assembly of these products we create for our consumers” from the content of the courses and further sharing what she has learned with the Connecticut chapter.  

Emma Arnold of Lamplighter Brewing Co. in Cambridge is the Boston Chapter recipient and was selected to receive this scholarship due in part to the fact that “she had already been studying for the Cicerone® exam and has formed a study group at her brewery to help further education for others” as well as her participation with the chapter despite being a new member.

Emma is the Director of Marketing at Lamplighter Brewing, about which she says, “I am surrounded by talented women working in a range of positions: taproom staff, production staff, sales, and management. I was encouraged by my supervisor to join Pink Boots in October 2018, and since then have been an active member.” That supportive environment has facilitated the formation of a study group for Emma and five co-workers to collaborate, share resources and stay focused as they each prepare for the Certified Cicerone® exam this fall.

Before taking the position at Lamplighter Emma, who previously worked in the green building industry, had limited knowledge of the brewing industry. She started adding to it when she took a part-time bar back job, further expanded it when she moved into a full time bartender position and is eager to continue learning, particularly when it comes to brewing process, ingredients, beer styles and history. About her current role she says she, “guides production planning, writes beer descriptions and tasting notes, and leads on content creation for social media and product promotion. The Cicerone® syllabus is a great framework for me to continue to self-educate. As I move into higher-level marketing and brand guidance, I aim to challenge myself to be even more of a beer expert. Continued study and research is integral to this goal.”

The Road to Cicerone® Courses Educational Series is a new scholarship offering for the Pink Boots Society and includes a suite of study books and exams. The coursebooks will enhance the student’s knowledge of brewing techniques, raw ingredients, how to properly keep and store beer, beer styles of specific regions, and the language to clearly discuss beer. Each self-paced coursebook should take 12 hours to complete and includes a specialist exam to validate the knowledge learned, assisting the student on her journey to Master Cicerone®. The specialist exam will enhance Certified Beer Server credentials by earning a course pin when the student passes or may be used to take unlimited times to quiz oneself for the Certified Cicerone®, Advanced Cicerone®, or Master Cicerone® exams.

Apr
7
Kris McDowell
UC Davis Intensive Brewing Science Scholarship Recipients Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce the two recipients of the University of California, Davis Extension Intensive Brewing Science for Practical Brewing scholarship, each chosen by a selection committee of experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers.

Jessica (Jess) Li of Young Master Brewery in Hong Kong is the national recipient and was selected to receive this scholarship due to what she has already achieved – “to come from winning her homebrew competitions to having her own startup to her current position.This all without any professional training.” In addition the committee felt, “This course seems as though in some ways it would be a lifeline for her. The chance to proudly proclaim that she is just as worthy as anyone else, regardless of her gender and/or ethnicity.”  

As the Experimental Beer Program Manager at Young Master Brewery Jess leads the creation, development and execution of the limited edition and experimental beer program that includes mixed fermentation and barrel aged beers. Prior to coming on board with Young Master Brewery her brewing experience encompassed homebrewing and a two year stint opening a pica-brewery with her brewing partner while working full time using her formal education to teach English. Of the pica-brewery, Jess said, “This was a two-person ran business that was a side/weekend only project to see if we could brew commercially. This was a very expensive personal market research but was a fun business project. The business closed down due to the lack of time we could commit to but the knowledge learnt was incredibly valuable.”

Jess has worked diligently to educate herself on all aspects of brewing but is excited to obtain formal brewing education, not only for the knowledge itself but also to provide validity to those in the brewing community that underestimate her abilities. She says, “I am respected within my team but I have no face or voice within the industry. I have become very passionate about changing this, as I feel like I am more than capable to intellectually speak and discuss in public. I do hold myself back and I am working on confidence but I believe this course will give me the boost I need to feel like this is my profession.”

Elizabeth O’Neill of Turtle Swamp Brewing Company in Jamaica Plain is the Boston Chapter recipient. The committee cited her “ability to articulate and relate her experiences” to the opportunity in choosing her and felt she would benefit the most from receiving the scholarship. They also noted her commitment to and involvement with the Boston chapter as well as dedication to the industry.

Homebrewing has been a part of Elizabeth’s life for nearly as long as she can remember. Her dad was a homebrewer, including her in the process in the family kitchen, and instilling in her from an early age, “a deep love for the magic of making beer.” She brewed a pale ale for her First Communion with her family at a brew-your-own facility and got a job while still in high school with a local brewery helping on the administrative side of the business.

After college she began homebrewing on her own and moved into her current position as the Taproom Manager at Turtle Swamp. Elizabeth says, “Despite my love for the magic of making beer, I have never had the confidence or, I thought, the experience to apply for any professional work in production. While I have held and thoroughly enjoyed my jobs, I have never stopped holding on to my secret dream – to share my passion for the magic of beer with the world by brewing professionally.”

The stepping stone that took her from dreaming to applying for this scholarship came while she was attending the Pink Boots Society Conference in Austin this past January. Surrounded by women who came from a variety of backgrounds and made their way into the craft beer industry she became inspired, recalling, “In mid-January Texas, over steaming barbeque, cold pints, and late-night conversation with female brewers from around the world, I realized I could be one of these women – What was stopping me? What barriers had I created that these women had jumped over and kicked down?”

The University of California, Davis Extension Intensive Brewing Science for Practical Brewing course is a five day on-site course that offers an intensive introduction to the sciences of brewing, engineering and brewing practice. Attendees will learn the technological and biochemical aspects of the entire brewing process from world renowned instructors Dr. Michael Lewis, Michael Long and Rebecca Bleibaum. Topics of the interactive lecture sessions cover all aspects of brewing from raw materials to fermentation to quality control and sensory evaluation.

Mar
7
Kris McDowell
Oregon State University Beer Quality & Analysis Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Audrey Reid, owner of Imbibe Solutions in Virginia, is the recipient of the Oregon State University Beer Quality & Analysis course scholarship.

Audrey was chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers. They selected Audrey to receive this scholarship due to her ability to clearly explain in her application essay how the course will benefit her as well as how the knowledge she gains will allow her to better serve those around her.

Audrey has created a unique position for herself by opening a laboratory that conducts quality control for a number of East Coast breweries. When she opened three years ago she had two clients. 18 months after opening she was in the fortunate position of having enough clients to move into a lab that was 5x the size of her original one. Today she can proudly say that she has worked with over 50 clients, the majority of which are breweries.

Being one’s own boss is the goal for many people but for Audrey that also means that “I perform every job necessary to run the business, including: in-lab and on-site analytical testing, sample pick up, accounting, inventory, outreach, sensory training, consulting, marketing, purchasing, web design, and dreaming of big ideas.” In addition to adding to her base of knowledge by completing the course she says that she is looking forward to “talking with experts about quality analysis and hopefully obtaining contacts to reach out to when I am truly stuck.”

Audrey has supplemented her B.S. in Chemistry and Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy with knowledge on beer analysis through books, lectures, papers, webinars, podcasts and people who have been in the industry for many years. While this has served her well be she says, “I want a more formal, beer-science focused education. I acknowledge that some of this course may be redundant for me because of my current job, but having looked through the syllabus I haven’t found an area where there isn’t something I could learn.”

OSU’s Beer Quality and Analysis Series teaches the fundamentals of basic beer analysis and microbiological techniques and their roles in the brewing process based on the official ASBC Methods of Analysis used in QA/QC labs worldwide, providing attendees the knowledge and tools to analyze and evaluate beer to influence quality control in a production brewing setting.

Feb
12
Kris McDowell
Cicerone BeerSavvy® Scholarship Recipients Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce the two recipients of the Cicerone BeerSavvy® scholarship, each chosen by a selection committee of experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers.

Alexandra (Alex) Sheeler of Amor Artis Brewing in South Carolina is the national recipient and was selected to receive this scholarship due to the clear way she expressed in her essay how the scholarship would benefit her, her employer and her customers.  

Alex comes to the brewing world with a degree in Advertising & Public Relations and experience in marketing. Her role as the marketing manager for Amor Artis began a year ago and during that time she has increased their reach on Facebook and Instagram. In the coming year she says, “I will be expanding my role to include blog post and press release writing when our new website launches.”

Well-versed in the marketing aspects of the position, she readily admits that that she has much to learn in terms of beer knowledge. In addition to educating herself, she looks forward to applying what she learns from the course to her shifts in the taproom. An educated beer server is an asset to any brewery but it is particularly important to Amor Artis as they are the only brewery in the small town of Fort Mill where many of the patrons are just starting to explore and learn about craft beer.

Alexandra (Alex) Asacker of Notch Brewing in Salem is the Boston Chapter recipient. The committee cited the recommendation from her employer and the content of her essay as reasons why her application rose to the top. In her essay she clearly stated her goals and how she will benefit from the scholarship, as well as her commitment to sharing the knowledge she receives with other PBS members, her colleagues and clients.

Alex has been a bartender with Notch Brewing since Summer 2018, having previously been a sales associate with a wine, beer and spirits store. “As a bartender I thrive when engaging with the public. I feel confident speaking generally about our brewery’s beer selection, but I would love to be able to educate our clients on a deeper level.”

Though not new to the beverage industry I have recently decided to focus my time and energy on beer,” she says. That includes becoming a member of the Pink Boots Society where she says, “I have found that though I am learning a great deal, my inexperience leaves me missing some key information. The Cicerone Beer Savvy Program will provide me with a wealth of knowledge, including these essential foundational elements that will bolster my future education.”

The Cicerone BeerSavvy® Course is comprehensive self-paced online beer training course designed to enhance knowledge of brewing techniques, beer styles, understanding flavors and off-flavors, food pairings and the language to clearly discuss beer. The course is beneficial for many people who work in the beer industry including those who are educating others about beer.

Jan
29
Kris McDowell
Siebel Concise Course in Brewing Technology Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Taylor Paige King of Pitt Street Brewing Company in North Carolina is the recipient of the Siebel World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology Online scholarship.

Taylor was chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, to receive this scholarship based on her well-written essay, glowing recommendations and heavy involvement with the Pink Boots Society as a volunteer. “Her dreams of starting and running a brewery, in a county that only has one, would be greatly helped by the education this course can provide.”

Taylor currently works as a bartender and brewing intern and says, “I was born and raised in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains and while there is a lot of white lightning in those hills, there’s not a plethora of beer. After the 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires a lot of local businesses were destroyed or damaged. This would be a perfect opportunity for me to give back to my community by building a craft brewery. Gatlinburg is an ever-growing tourist industry that would benefit from a local brewery.” Besides gaining experience from her work at Pitt Street, she has started homebrewing, using locally foraged ingredients such yarrow and spruce tips, and is attending Nash Community College, pursuing a degree in Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation. She feels that the technical knowledge this scholarship will provide will help to round out her knowledge and grow her career.

Taylor is also an active member of the Pink Boots Society where she contributes her talents to monthly newsletters and e-blasts. She says, “I have been met with so much love and support from my PBS family and I cannot wait to give back.” After completing this course she plans to write an article to fulfill her Pay It Forward requirement, attend Biere de Femme to represent Nash Community College’s programs (like the one she is enrolled in) and work toward establishing an Eastern North Carolina chapter of the Pink Boots Society.

The Concise Course in Brewing Technology is an intensive, online three-month course that utilizes a mix of textual instructions, streaming video presentations narrated by some of the best instructors in brewing, and synchronous chat sessions between students and faculty. Students will gain the knowledge and confidence to work effectively in the world of commercial brewing in this course that covers topics ranging from business of beer, alcohol and health, CIP programs and Quality Assurance/Quality Control.

Dec
12
Kris McDowell
2019 Bi-Annual Pink Boots Conference Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Cassidy VanWarmerdam of Payette Brewing Company is the recipient of the 2019 Bi-Annual Pink Boots Conference scholarship.

Chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, they chose Cassidy to receive this scholarship as she “expressly conveyed the value of the conference in terms of learning new things and different approaches to methods and concepts from what she is regularly exposed to.”

Cassidy has been employed by Payette Brewing Company since 2016, originally being hired as a beertender but through her hard work and willingness to learn has progressed to hold the position of Lead Quality Control. She says, “Being relatively new to the industry, I’ve found that my greatest weakness so far is my lack of resources for knowledge from other people in the brewing business.” By attending the conference she anticipates gaining knowledge that will make her a more valuable employee.

The 2019 Bi-Annual Pink Boots Conference embodies the organization’s mission to assist, inspire and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education by instilling attendees with hard takeaways and valuable knowledge along with invaluable networking with women working in all facets of the global beer industry. The conference will kick off with an inspiring and substantive industry keynote from the Brewers Association’s Julia Herz, followed by additional panels and presentations that will touch on: Beer Quality, Sensory, Raw Ingredients, Hot Side/Cold Side Processes, Diversity in the Beer Industry, Personal Goal Setting/Leadership, Advanced Social Media, Tasting Room Experience, Strengthening PBS Chapters, HR and more.

In addition to attending the course, Cassidy will receive a Pink Boots embroidered shirt when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.

Nov
8
Kris McDowell
PSU Business of Craft Brewing Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Meg Evans of Rock Bottom Brewery in Pittsburgh, PA is the recipient of the Portland State University Online Business of Craft Brewing Certificate scholarship.

Chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, they selected Meg due to her well-written essay in which she communicated the areas she is currently lacking knowledge in, how the coursework will fill those gaps and what that knowledge will mean to her as she works toward her future goals.

Meg has spent the last eight years working her way up from cellarman at Southern Tier to her current position as head brewer at Rock Bottom, gaining experience in a wide variety of brewery operations. However she says, “One thing – and it’s a big thing – that I haven’t been exposed to, is the business aspect of our industry.” Being in the early stages of opening her own brewery she knows that in order to be successful she will need to add a thorough understanding of accounting, HR and more that this course will provide. Her and her partner intend to open a neighborhood brewery, saying that among other things, “Owning a brewery will only open greater opportunities for me to be a better asset for other women in my community.”

The Online Business of Craft Brewing Certificate focuses on the commerce skills needed to create a viable basic startup business plan to make a brewery efficient and profitable. Students will be introduced to the various players and processes that go into producing and selling craft beverages, from growing grains and hops, to malting, brewing, distribution and retail environments. The courses in this four-course certificate cover different strategies, the associated costs of creating a craft beer and business models, culminating in an investor-ready business plan to present to potential backers, the craft beverage startup community and other potential business partners.

In addition to attending the course, Meg will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.

Oct
13
Kris McDowell
White Labs Yeast Essentials 2.0 Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Johanna Foege of Perennial Artisan Ales is the recipient of the 2018 White Labs Yeast Essentials 2.0 scholarship.

Chosen by the PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC), five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers, they chose Johanna to receive this scholarship feeling that “her background in science would allow her to soak up the knowledge from the course, filling in the few gaps left in her QC and Yeast Management training to solidify her status as expert and practiced professional.”

Johanna is the Total Quality Manager at Perennial Artisan Ales, where in the course of a year she has single-handedly designed, implemented and is running their quality control program – a valuable achievement for her. She says, “As a smaller brewery, we don’t have a ton of resources available for training and development, so I’ve largely had to seek my own experiences and teach myself how to create and run a successful quality control program. This course aligns perfectly with my next addition to our program, which will include setting up and operating an internal yeast propagation and management program this fall.”

The White Labs Yeast Essentials 2.0 is a two-day workshop at the White Labs Asheville facility that will cover details on setting up a lab and quality control programs along with general lab techniques to improve brewing operations. It will explore fermentation control points, how to maintain optimal yeast performance and develop desired flavor compounds, off-flavor detection, sensory of different yeast strains and troubleshooting problem fermentations.

In addition to attending the course, Johanna will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.

Oct
9
Kris McDowell
Improving Your Sensory Beer Knowledge
Pay It Forward, Scholarship Recipients
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Written by Ashley Nulph, tasting room server at The Rare Barrel and recipient of the 2018 Oregon State University Origins of Beer Flavors and Styles scholarship.

Beer is made with water, hops, malt, and yeast. It’s likely that you know what kinds of beer you like to drink but do you know how to communicate that to someone else? Perhaps you are at an event or visiting a friendly local brewery and taste a beer. Someone asks what you think of it. There are no off flavors or anything discernibly wrong with the beer. You want to come back with a witty and helpful response; you want to show your knowledge of beer but don’t taste anything that stands out to you. “It’s good,” of course, isn’t specific at all.  You have some of the vocabulary but not the developed palate to give more useful or detailed information that, in this case, would show you really know your stuff.

We can all look, smell, and taste any sample of beer we’re given but how do we delve deeper into its flavor profile? It is important to remind ourselves that sensory evaluation is a learned skill and a great way to learn is by tasting. What should you do if you want to give yourself a bit or training without anyone else being involved or pace yourself through the training of your palate?

One thing you can do quite easily without having to purchase any special equipment or products is to have several side by side beer comparisons. All these tastings require are off-the-shelf and readily available prepackaged domestic and international beers. Having them side by side in the privacy of your own home allows you to take time to evaluate specific flavors or isolate particular traits to hone in on them (such as bitterness) and also to take notes in your comparisons. You can do this with similar beers to really get a grasp on the expectations for a specific style or beers with one major difference to attempt to isolate it. Examples of this are beers of the same style with similar ABV and different IBUs, beers of the same style with similar IBUs and different ABV (this can be done with a DIPA versus IPA in many cases), beers of the same style one with adjuncts and one without, etc.

Here are 3 examples of tastings or pairings. For tasting or comparisons where the beers are the same style with similar specifications, they are expected to be similar and representative of a style. For these you may choose to buy one or both with the goal to pick a beer(s) representative of the style and take notes on what you taste. Getting a beer(s) that is basic without unusual hops or adjuncts is important. Getting a beer that is readily available and not specific to one season can also be helpful especially if you want to replicate this or have a friend do it and compare notes, but is not required at all.

For pairings where you want a comparison, you can also look at the specs on a beer and find two that are similar in all aspects but one. By isolating for one factor (ABV, malt, IBUs, hops, etc), you give yourself a chance to focus on that and better understand the differences.

ABV and IBU. This information should be reported for most breweries on their own websitess along with style, description, malt bill, hops used, availability and other information. While these things can change batch by batch, if you cannot find this information on the brewery page or need a quick reference, Rate Beer is a good site where you can get basic information about a beer such as its ABV and IBU. It may also give you information on where to buy a beer if you want to purchase one of the beers listed below and you do not find it at a local store. The beers below are readily available at grocery stores in California and the Pacific Northwest. In the case you wanted to do one of these comparisons and could not find the listed beers, you could use Rate Beer or brewery websites to look up the specifics on the bottled beer that is available and pick a beer with similar make-up to conduct the same taste comparisons with a replacement beer.

What is IBU? IBU stands for international bitterness unit and is the scale that measures the hop-derived acid isohumulone that gives beer its bitter flavor. IBUs are not something most people can identify easily but it is important to understand what this contributes to beer. One’s understanding of IBUs can differ by style and malt bill. One of the best ways I’ve found to understand IBU ratings is to taste otherwise similar beers (same style, color, similar ABV) with more than as high of a point distinction in IBUs as possible.

There are arguments that IBUs don’t give us an awful lot of information about a beer in this climate but since it is one of the only pieces of information given beyond ABV, style, and a brief description on many websites, menus or labels; it is important to try to understand how your own palate interprets isohumulone for your own understanding of the IBU rating on a beer.

Sensory experiments number one and two: focus on bitterness and style

Tasting number 1: Style understanding and bitterness in dark beers (Imperial Stout):

Bitterness is often something that people associate with IPAs and hoppy beers and not with darks which is why I think this is a fun sampling to do first. In these cases, the malt character effectively hides a large amount of the bitter bite one would expect from such high IBUs. An imperial stout with 75 IBUs, therefore, will taste much less bitter than an IPA with the same. The human palate can only distinguish up to about 110 IBUs so the beers we are sampling will be in this range. IBUs vary from batch to batch and even for the tastings below, are reportedly differently on the brewery websites, Rate Beer, and other tasting sites. Every attempt has been made to use the current numbers from the brewery when available. In cases of great difference, it is important to taste the beer with lower IBUs first as your palate can become accustomed to it. In this case, if drinking both, it will not matter.

In both of these cases, the beer will have a roasty depth and similar dark color. Both are California brewed and have wide commercial distribution. The brewing date on these beers shouldn’t matter too much for our purposes. If both are available to you, I urge you to buy both. If not, one or one and a similar beer from your region will suffice.

Beer A: North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout (9.0% ABV, 75 IBUs) 

Beer B: Lagunitas Imperial Stout  (9.9% ABV, 72 IBUs)

Make notes about your impressions of the Imperial Stout style. What do you taste in the beer(s)? Which adjectives or descriptors would you use? Do you find there to be a bitterness on your palate? If you struggle with tasting bitterness, do not worry. There is an opportunity to do another bitterness test using IPAs which will be more noticeable to most. Also, if you taste one of these beers several months or a year from now having worked on your sensory evaluation skills, you will likely fare better in identifying the bitterness.

Tasting number 2: Bitterness in hop forward beer (India Pale Ales)

In either of these cases, the beer will have a hop forward flavor and mid-golden color. Both are Pacific Northwest brewed and have wide commercial distribution. The brewing date on these beers should be as close to today as possible and ideally not more than a month old if bottles are date stamped. If both are available to you, I urge you to buy both. If not, one or one and a similar beer from your region will suffice.

Note: In my opinion, both of these beers should be considered Double India Pale Ales (DIPA) or Imperial India Pale Ales (IIPA) based on their ABV despite the labeling of Space Dust simply as IPA.

Beer A: Elysian Space Dust IPA (8.2% ABV, 73 IBUs)

Beer B: Ninkasi Tricerahops DIPA (8% ABV, 84 IBUs)

Like above, take notes. Ask yourself what you taste in the beer(s), and which adjectives or descriptors would you use. Do you find there to be a bitterness on your palate? Is it much more pronounced for you than above?

If you happen to chose to do style tastings 1 and 2 in the same night, you can also taste them against each other. The variation in bitterness perceived by the tongue between one of the Imperial Stouts and one of the Imperial IPAs can actually be great despite the fact that the greatest IBU variation between these 4 beers is no more than 12 IBUs (a difference you are very unlikely to be able to taste).

Tasting number 3: Focus on style and aromas in Hefeweizen wheat beer

In both of these cases, the beer will have a slight sweet, non-hoppy flavor and light-golden color. Compared to the other samples, you will not likely be able to discern any bitterness at all. One beer is Pacific Northwest brewed and the other is brewed in Germany but both have wide commercial distribution. The brewing date on these beers does not matter as much as for an IPA and does not warrant concern. If both beers are not available to you, purchase the one beer that is available to you and complete this as a style tasting like numbers 1 and 2 above.

Beer A: Widmer Hefeweizen (4.9% ABV, 26 IBUs)

Beer B: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbeir (5.4% ABV, 14 IBUs)

Smell these beers before you taste them. What scents do you detect? Phenol off flavor (POF) is a banana or clove aroma. It is called an off flavor because it is generally not desired in the final beer product. However, in a German style wheat beer, this flavor is considered acceptable and even desired by some. These two hefeweizens are both classic examples of the style while one has the POF and the other does not. This is by design and each brewery either has or does not have the aroma as a deliberate decision about what the style means to them. Can you identify which beer has the banana and clove aromas and which does not? What do you taste in the beers? Which adjectives or descriptors would you use? Other than this, would you make any other distinction between the two?

Taking it one step further: hop sensory

What about hops?  You cannot taste them. You can smash and rub cones or pellets and smell them but that will only get you so far.

One method to getting more familiar with hops is to seek out SMASH (single malt single hop) beers. These beers have become much more popular lately with some breweries even doing SMASH series that focus on different malts. SMASH beers offer the opportunity to hone in on the manifestation of individual strains of hops in the final beer.

You can ask at your local brewery if they have any SMASH beers or know of anyone local who does. You can also consult the list here https://www.ratebeer.com/tag/smash/ or talk to a friend who brews about completing one of the recipes from the Homebrewers Association.

Hopefully you can find some good examples that give you an idea more about specific hop strains!

Sep
9
Kris McDowell
Barley and Malting Quality Course Scholarship Recipient Announced
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The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Jessie Smith is the recipient of North Dakota State University Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences Barley and Malting Quality: A Field to Brewhouse Perspective scholarship, a partnership with the Northern Crops Institute. Jessie is a lab technician at Texas’ oldest craft brewery, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, in Houston.

The PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC) is made up of five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers. The committee chose Jessie to receive this scholarship as she was able to convey “a logical plan to implement knowledge that would be gained from the course including sensory and quality analysis in her role as a lab technician.”

Jessie holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and has worked for Saint Arnold Brewing Company since 2016. She handles quality testing that includes IBU/SRM, forced diacetyl testing, microbiological plating and PCR, manages their weekly sensory panel and has begun to experiment with small scale yeast propagation with the hopes of a larger scale expansion in the future. She says, “I’m always trying to learn through courses like these in order to bring back some new information to our lab and our brewers. Malt analysis has been a topic our lab has been interested in expanding on for quite some time. The problem has always been where to start. A course like this would provide me with the tools to offer us with a number of potential starting points for analysis.”

Barley and Malting Quality: A Field to Brewhouse Perspective is a four-day onsite course that will take place in Fargo, ND at the NDSU Northern Crops Institute. This course is intended to provide an intensive overview of the many factors impacting barley and malt quality from the field to the brewhouse. Lectures, discussion sessions and participatory laboratory demonstrations will provide participants with the knowledge to understand malt processing and to effectively interpret barley and malt analyses. This is an excellent opportunity to learn from a group of internationally recognized experts assembled from industry, academics and government.

In addition to attending the course, Jessie will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.