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Monday, November 12, 2007

Beer Appreciation Week #6: The End

For the past five weeks, I have been taking a beer appreciation course at George Brown College with 8 other students taught by instructor Ron Keefe from the Granite Brewery. We have covered ales, lagers, Wheat and Wit beers, Belgian beers and went on a field trip to the Granite to learn about the brewing process. We were taught how to taste beer and what to look for when tasting. We also learned about the various styles and a little about their history.

Well, it is all said and done. The course has officially ended but it ended on a high note.

The last class covered German Hefeweizen Beers and Belgian Wit Beers or also known as wheat and white beers respectively. The German wheat beer will have aromas like banana, bubblegum and cloves, while the Belgium white beer is usually spiced with coriander and orange peel. Both beers are commonly hazy in appearance and high in carbonation. Ron also talked about glassware and how it can positively enhance the condition of beer. He provided a handout featuring pictures of different glassware and a description of what beers would be best situated with them.

We watched another Michael Jackson 'Beer Hunter' video where he toured Bamburg, Germany which has a population of 75,000 people and can boast about having 10 breweries. Toronto in comparison has over 2 million residents and features less then 10 breweries and that includes the GTA.

We tasted some great beers for this last class. Schneider Weisse, Hacker Pschorr Weissebier, Aventinus Weisendarkbier, Hoegaarden, Unibroue Blanche De Chambly, Mill Street Belgin Wit and Unibroue Maudite. All were excellent examples of the styles they represent.

Near the end of the class we had to complete a final exam based on material we have previously learned. It was a simple multiple choice test and it was over in no time. Ron then delivered a nice speech where he stated "My goal at the beginning of the course was to introduce everyone to many different styles and that beer is so much more than just a cold one. Experiment, its fun to try new things and keep an open mind when you travel, there is different beer everywhere." He also reminded everyone how well beer can be paired with food and with the upcoming holiday season, it would be a great time to start trying. Then a cheers to the class.

So, if anyone reading this is interested in learning more about beer and what it has to offer, you would do well signing up for the January class intake. Ron will be back teaching and you won't be disappointed.


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