Give Beer a Chance


My dear friend John recently become a certified cicerone. This certification’s roots are here in Chicago and is analogous to sommelier for wine. The program itself defines those who achieve this certification as individuals who “have a deep and well-rounded knowledge of beer and beer service as well as competence in assessing beer quality and identity by taste.”
While this is an achievement that is no easy task the preparation is certainly “homework” that is quite enviable. Me being the dedicated and supportive friend that I am I supported his hard work and promised to be dedicated study partner. While the afternoons and evenings drinking, I mean tasting, ales, lagers, sours, stouts, pilsners and a host of other styles of beers was arduous it means a great deal to me to say that it all paid off and I now have friend who is a certified cicerone!
You could probably have guessed that beer played a role at the dinner table when bringing our families together for Thanksgiving. The constant debate for me as to what wine to drink with dinner has now officially ended. A Schlafly The Eleventh Labor, apricot ale was chosen by John for dinner. A Berliner Weisse style beer soured with a house sour yeast culture in small batches it was the perfect foil to the barrage of dishes served at Thanksgiving. The palate-cleansing refreshing, tart, sour and acidic taste was more full bodied then other beers in this style brought on by the apricots for a fruit sharpness. The low hop character and subtle sourness pair easily with bacon wrapped turkey breast, cut through the heavier stuffing dishes and paired nicely the gingered carrots and roast squash. The low 4.2 ABV made it light enough to not fill you up and of course allowed for more than one!
This may all sound like high-brow beer talk jargon and two years ago it would have sounded that way to me as Berliner Weisse was not in my beer vernacular. I’ve been a fan of sour beers for some time and this style was under my radar. One of the coolest things about being in this business if having the opportunity to search for, discover and taste new things. One of the most rewarding things is when I (or someone else!) finds something that is truly special and I can turn someone else on to it. Hopefully someone reads this and gives this beer a try!
This Thanksgiving I was thankful not only for the many blessings I have in my life but also that the next level master cicerone certification is one my friend John will decide he “needs” to pursue so that I can continue be the good friend and study partner I am.

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Posted on December 3rd, 2015 at 1:58 am [ssba]