Beer blogging has ______ my relationship with beer.

Beer blogging has __________ my relationship with beer. I sit here thinking about this prompt that me and some fellow Mid-Atlantic Beer Bloggers are supposed to write about and have no clue where to go with it. Can you humor me and let me work this out as I just type my thoughts?

Beer blogging has ignited my relationship with beer. This is 100% true. Before blogging I wasn’t as interested in brewing techniques and ingredients of certain styles. I’ve become a Certified Beer Server and started studying for BJCP. I care about who brews my beer and strive to meet the folks who do.

Beer blogging has enhanced my relationship with beer. For a long time I didn’t feel like a part of the craft beer community. I’m still an outsider in the industry but nearly two years into writing my thoughts on the subject and making some dear friends along the way I feel like I’m finally a member of the larger community. The relationships I’ve built through beer are priceless that could only have been created through beer blogging. Beer, through these individuals, has been enhanced.

Beer blogging has jaded my relationship with beer. Yep. I get pissed sometimes when I see people drinking Pliny like I drink Bell’s Two-Hearted (even though they are viewed roughly the same on each coast from what I hear). I get upset when I’m out and want to pair my dinner and my only “craft” option is Sam’s Seasonal. I get angry when the manager’s “special draft” is like Shiner Bock. Without blogging I wouldn’t know about Pliny, I’d be happy to pair any fish with Sam’s Summer Ale and gladly pay $6.59 for that Shiner Bock.

Beer blogging has pledged my relationship with beer. Not sure if that makes grammatical sense but let’s run with it. Beer blogging has made me make a pledge to beer. I pledge to respect it (think about who brewed it, don’t drink and drive, that sort of stuff). I pledge to improve it (channel my inner Hipster Brewfus and call out things that aren’t up to the quality they should be). I pledge to help grow it (help out my local craft beer community and the larger craft beer industry as an ambassador).

Out of the examples above if I’m to choose the most dramatic/important one in my life it has to be enhanced because of the relationships I’ve made. In the post-college world it is extremely difficult to make friends outside of your existing social and work circles. Beer blogging has made that possible and in turn made my relationship with beer more enhanced because these like-minded people teach me about beer and push me to be a better blogger/community member/person/etc.

So bloggers I ask you, beer blogging has done what to your relationship with beer? If you’re not a blogger or a new blogger, what do you think beer blogging would do to your relationship with beer?

This post is part of multiple essays from Mid-Atlantic beer bloggers focusing on how we feel blogging has impacted our relationship with beer. Make sure to check out these posts, too:

Douglas Smiley of Baltimore Bistros and Beer

Bryan Roth of This Is Why I’m Drunk

Jake Scholan of Hipster Brewfus

Oliver Gray of Literature and Libation

Liz Murphy of Naptown Pint

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Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part V – Off-Flavors

This is Part V of a series on knowledge for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam. All information disseminated is from the syllabus provided by the Cicerone website and mixed with my own thoughts. I’m doing this to 1) help me learn the material and 2) share the knowledge with people who haven’t heard of the exam or are planning to take the exam.

Feel free to skip ahead to other sections. Here’s a list of all the study guide parts:

This is Part V on Off-Flavors.

Recently I’ve been diving into learning off-flavors on my journey to becoming a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. On the exam, off-flavors will probably only be a handful of the 60 questions. But it’s a topic I need to study up on since you need to get a 90% to pass (that’s 54/60 right).

Most of this information is taken out of John Palmer’s How to Brew, which is available for free online, and the BJCP website. Here are a couple of key off-flavors and a basic overview about them.

Acetaldehyde

  • Tastes like fresh green apples. It is an intermediate compound in the formation of alcohol. This essentially means the beer is too young and it needs more time to condition.

Astringent

  • It is mouth puckering and has a husk-like graininess taste. It’s similar to sucking on a tea bag. It is usually the result of steeping grains for too long or the pH of the mash exceeding a range of 5.2-5.6.

Diacetyl

  • Tastes like butter or popcorn. It is the result of the normal fermentation process or a bacterial infection. It is usually because of weak yeast or insufficient aeration.

Dimethyl Sulfides (DMS)

  • Tastes like cooked corn. Outside of pale lagers, it is the result of poor brewing practices or bacterial infections. When it’s from a bacterial infection it tastes like cooked cabbage. In short, cool down the wort as quickly as you can before pitching yeast or DMS will reform.

Light-Struck or Skunked

  • It tastes skunky. This is from being exposed to sunlight or fluorescent lights. Brown bottles protect much better than green or clear bottles but they still shouldn’t be left in the sunlight or under fluorescent lights (like in a grocery store).

Oxidized

  • Tastes stale or like wet cardboard. This happens when beer is exposed to oxygen post-fermentation. This can be from a number of sources including bottle caps and keg seals. If your beer is old, it’s probably oxidized.

Lastly

Once I take the CBS exam I’ll update this and the other parts of the study guide. If you’ve taken the exam feel free to add comments on these off-flavors or other ones that I might need to know to pass it.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam! Remember to check out the other posts. Here they are again:

If you passed the exam and/or used any of these posts as help, I’d love to hear about it. Leave your thoughts on them, the exam or anything else below!