My wife kindly gave me a voucher for The Beer Academy at Christmas. I booked it for this week in London, blissfully ignorant of the fact that the Foundation course ran in The Porterhouse, Dublin last week! On Monday I completed said Foundation course. I don’t want to give too much away in case any of you are planning on taking these courses. Our tutor Ian Swanson has a wealth of experience in the field of brewing and his stories really added to the experience.
The first day we covered off the history of beer and the flavours, families, how well it goes with food and how it’s brewed. That funny looking thing at the top of the post is a fish swim bladder which is used to clear the leftover yeast from some beers. On Tuesday we did the Advanced course where we had great fun trying to detect off flavours in spiked Budweiser. We went into a lot more depth around the brewing process and the ingredients used. We did some food and beer pairing.
A local fishmonger took me to task a while ago for encouraging people to try new beers while remaining reluctant to broaden my pescatorial horizons. So I steeled my nerve and tried some roll mop herring with Boon Oude Gueze and some smoked salmon with Schneider Weisse Tap 7. While I enjoyed the beers I’m not adding raw, pickled or smoked fish to my regular diet anytime soon, I’m glad I tried them!
We also learned about British, Belgian, Bohemian, German and American beer styles.
We tried examples of each style, I think I can safely say everyone enjoyed that part!
Unfortunately I had to give the class trip to The Kernel brewery the miss as I had a flight home to catch but the famous Bermondsey Beer Mile is on my to do list! I have to say I’d highly recommend the Beer Academy to anyone with more than a passing interest in beer. It was great to meet people from microbreweries all the way up to the brewing giants as well as some who, like myself aren’t directly involved in the industry, we all had a shared love of beer. Funnily enough we also went out for a few pints on Monday night but I’ll save that for another post. So for now, sláinte!