How to care for your beer
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – The opening seminar of the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival at the Vail Cascade on Friday was not geared toward the casual beer drinker.
Led by Ray Daniels, creator of the Cicerone Certification Program and president of the Craft Beer Institute, the presentation covered everything from beer flavors to maintaining draft systems to how to pour the perfect beer.
“We’re all about flavor here,” Daniels said. “I’m not just talking about cool brands. … Since the beginning, craft beer in the United States has been all about flavor.”
The goal of the seminar was to provide an introduction to the Cicerone Certification Program. This three-tired program is often referred to as the sommelier training of the beer industry. The goal of having such in-depth knowledge of beer, Daniels said, is to enhance the consumer’s enjoyment of the hoppy stuff, so that the beer tastes as the brewer intended.
“From the consumer’s perspective, it shouldn’t be complicated,” Daniels said.
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The seminar drew a variety of beer enthusiasts, including Tracey Kling, a beer sales representative from Edwards.
“I have to tell servers all the time, please don’t put my beer on the nozzle,” Kling said. “It seemed like a lot of people in there were servers who wanted to learn how to pour the beer properly and maintain their systems.”
Kling said it’s important for people who serve or work with beer to expand their knowledge of the product they sell. For her, this meant going beyond what a person can taste in a beer to discover why that particular flavor can be the difference between a well-cared-for beer and a stale one.
“It’s not just what causes the beer off-flavors, but why,” Kling said. “For instance, the yeast isn’t allowed to fully mature and that’s what’s causing this off-flavor. These are things that I knew, the off-flavors, but it’s important to know why these flavors occur.”