Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part II – Belgian/French Styles

This is Part II 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 II on Belgian/French Styles.

**Note – PB stands for Perceived Bitterness**

Belgian/French Styles

Trappist and Abbey Ales

Double/Dubbel

  • PB – Low
  • Color – Amber to brown
  • ABV – Elevated

Continue reading

TWIB – Dead Presidents, Wedding Drinks and Delicious Beer

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

It is wedding season. Still. I attended my second wedding in less than a month (Here’s a recap of the first wedding). This time I went north to Philadelphia. Traveling, especially out of state, gives you a chance to really branch out when it comes to beer choices.

I wandered the streets of Philly and ended up where?

What do I love most about weddings? People from all around gather to celebrate the love of a common family member or friend. Meaning that if you don’t know someone attending the wedding, you have a better chance of getting along with him or her than a random person. I met another bridemaid’s significant other and hit it off with him. We had the whole day to ourselves while our ladies were doing whatever bridemaids do the day of the wedding so we hit the streets of Philly in search of cheesesteaks and beer. Continue reading

TWIB – Anniversary in Annapolis

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

This was a special weekend for me. My wife and I celebrated our first anniversary. We took a trip Annapolis, MD, a place we’ve never been to before.

Fordham Brewing Company

Well I was in charge of planning the trip and right off the bat when we arrived Sunday afternoon I took us to get lunch at a restaurant that doesn’t open until 5:00pm. Nice work. So plan B kicked in and I walked us around until we found the most crowded spot which ended up being Rams Head Tavern.

I ordered the Fordham Brewing Company sampler. It consisted of 6 of their beers:

  • Rams Head IPA
  • Rosie Parks Oyster Stout
  • Copperhead Ale
  • Helles Lager
  • Tavern Ale
  • Wisteria Wheat

The Copperhead Ale was my favorite by far. It was complex and flavorful. However, it was the only one I’ll ever get again besides maybe the Oyster Stout. The rest were average at best.

Boulevard Brewing Company Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale

Even though I struck out with lunch I hit a homerun with dinner. We went out to Severn Inn and feasted on seafood while sitting on the water.

I’ve had Tank 7 before and knew it was a winner. This beer is one of the few Saisons I enjoy. It’s dangerous at 8.5% ABV so I only had one while my wife took down a delicious white wine sangria.

Boulevard is relatively new to being distributed to where I am in Virginia so I’m just beginning to have their beers and hear about the company. From what I’ve seen these guys “get it” and are doing things right. I mentioned them in a post last week Why a Brewery Needs an Online Video Presence.

Continue reading

TWIB – 1 giant duck vs 1,000 ducks

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a new feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

This week was a huge one for me professionally. It was the last week at the job I’ve been at for nearly four years. It felt like I was graduating college all over again, but all alone. Needless to say, I was taken out a lot this week to celebrate.

Victory Golden Monkey

I got to enjoy this beer with one of my good friends and now ex-coworker Scott who runs Boeser Brau. I recommended it to him and once I saw him have it I got jealous and ordered one of my own. This 9.5% ABV Belgian-style Tripel packs a flavorful punch but you can still taste the subtleties of the spices used. Awesome beer — try it if you haven’t.

The Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout

Long-story short, this is my absolute favorite beer. It’s not the best milk stout I’ve ever had but I know it’s brewed somewhat nearby in Farmville, NC and I have a rich history with it. It really turned me on to trying new beers, especially darker ones, after the first time I had it. It still is a staple of my beer diet many years later. If you won’t try it because I’m telling you to, will you at least try it because of their badass logo?

I heard this on the Scott Van Pelt Show months back but still think of this question whenever I come across anything to do with a duck. Which would you rather fight — one duck that’s the size of 1,000 ducks or 1,000 regular-size ducks? My answer to the question later. Continue reading

April Dirty Thirty Day 16 – Lagunitas Brewing Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Last night’s April Dirty Thirty beer was…

Lagunitas Brewing Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Lagunitas Brewing Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Lagunitas Brewing Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Critical Information:

  • 9.6% ABV
  • American Strong Ale

My Experience:

– POUR

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. It has an amber transparent color with a large, off-white head that sticks to the glass.

– SMELL

It gives off a super hoppy and fruity aroma. There’s some pomegranate and berries.

– TASTE

I get mostly hops, honey and fruitiness. This beer will crush your palate so don’t plan on enjoying the subtleties of a Saison after this one. It’s more dense than it appears. I enjoyed it more just after the pour when the carbonation and bubbles were still working. After a few minutes it became somewhat labor-intensive to get it down.

– FOOD PAIRING

You’ll need a strong cheese to keep up with the intense flavors of this beer. Something in the Bleu or Gorgonzola family would work.

Continue reading