I attended a beer tasting event on January 13, 2011, at the 6th & I Synagogue. Chris O'Brien, author of Fermenting Revolution, took us through six beers and discussed craft breweries, sustainability, and the close connection between religion and brewing. These are the notes I shared via email with my friend, Keith, who really wanted to attend, but was unable due to a very bad cold.
Chris began by discussing the Brickskeller and how many people from around the world and not just DC tasted good beer there first. I know that is where I was first exposed to beer that didn't taste like piss.
First up Nut Brown Ale from Peak Organic
Talked about how beer is important in society with Beer Summit from Obama.
When drinking organic beer may not get organic hops.
Beer is highly processed so less likely to have petro chemicals in it.
Industrial beers are dead beers. The pasteurization kills the beer. Commercial beer marketing treats us like we are idiots.
Resurgence in recent years of organic. He finances hop growing in Colorado through his company Seven Bridges.
Discussed German purity law.
Discussed New Belgium as they wanted to understand impact of their beer on climate change. Cans keep beer fresher than bottles. Organic ingredients are best way to help environment.
Next up Marmageddon Porter from Baying Hound Aleworks in. Rockville
Paul spoke and he produces 30 cases per week. He is smallest brewery in Montgomery County. We can visit him!
The beer was named after his deceased dog.
He said pork goes very well with this beer not realizing or forgetting he is in a synagogue. Got a lot of laughs!
More to come...
Now on to Resurrection Ale
More laughing about our savior wasn't resurrected.
He has told a lot of stories about ancient Egypt. In fact this is the most Egyptian story telling amongst a group of Jews that doesn't involve Matzah.
Something funky happens when the yeast is still alive. "Something funky" was the name of my high school band.
He read from the Epic of Gilgamesh to show how long ago beer was in society.
All ancient civilizations brewed beer. He visited ancient Egypt and in the pyramids there are beer stories told and ways for Pharohs to have beer forever.
Respect for women and how women were the brewers until the church got involved. Our access to the divine is through the beer.
Now St Victorious from Victory Brewing Company Dowingtown PA
Talked about the fellowship among brewers.
A lot about religion and beer. Also am sitting next to a beer reporter. Have her card.
Okay now people are getting "happy" and silly.
Two more beers to go!
On to Pangea from Dogfish
Okay buy this guy's book. You will rip through it. I can't believe I forgot mine as I have read most of it.
And now on to Midas Touch
This is the most fun I have had in a synagogue since my Bar Mitzvah!
Okay. Time to sign off as you know what happens to me after...
Max shows me a photo he took of me while taking a photo - very post-modern...
In order, the beers sampled. I left a little from each to taste at the end.
Our featured guest, Chris O'Brien, on beer, sustainability, and religion.
Great seats right across from the speakers/brewers.
Aaron introduces the speaker and beers.
Here is a picture of the sampled beers.