Certified Cicerone Beer Server

As I mentioned in my bio part of this journey was to help me prepare to take the Cicerone exam to become a certified beer server, and I am happy to announce that I have taken and passed the test.  I realize that I did this about a month ago, I have been meaning to post this here it just took me some time to get the actual certificate.

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Mikkeller Koppi IPA

Mikkeller Koppi coffee IPA

ABV 6.9%

So I just recently tried a Coffee IPA, an intriguing idea and something that I had never heard of before.  Considering all the fact the Mikkeller has produced some amazing beers, I was really looking forward to trying this one.

I ended up being a bit disappointed after trying this, the coffee was completely nonexistent, it is almost as if it was a gimick that left me under whelmed..  Not to say this is a horrible beer, it is actually a very decent American IPA, it has good color, nice hop smell and a decent slightly bitter finish.

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This is a combination of found and recorded sounds, I put this together to try and give the feeling of being in a bar.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/11573970″]

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Interview with Chuck and Aaron

This is an interview I conducted with Chuck and Aaron, owners of The Trappist.  The Trappist is the bar I work at that inspired this blog.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/11566262″]

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Ale or Lager?

In my last post I gave a little info about the differences between Ales and Lagers.  I put together this infographic to help, I am a visual person so things like this tend to help me out quite a bit.  I believe this graphic is pretty self explanatory, within the Ale and Lager side I included basic sub-categories with the beers that correspond to those categories.  The mixed styles could be either lager or ale depending on who is making it.

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A little about beer

So I realized I was just jumping in and giving reviews without giving any information about beer in general, not everyone knows the differences between say an ale and a lager, hell I didn’t know until fairly recently so here is my first attempt at giving just some very basic info about beer.

So lets start with Ales and Lagers and the differences between the two.  Let me first point out that ale’s and lagers are the two main categories of beer, meaning every beer you drink will fall into one of these categories. In order to explain the difference I need to talk about the brewing method involved.

To put it very simply Ales are fermented at higher temperatures, using what is called “top fermenting” yeast, which means exactly what you would think, the beer ferments with the ale on top of the barrel.

Lagers on the other hand us bottom or middle fermenting yeast and are brewed at lower temperatures.  Lagers also take longer to ferment because of the lower temperature.  If you would like to read a little more about this process here is a pretty good breakdown BeerTutor.

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Glazen Toren Saison Special Eindejaar

Saison Special Eindejaar

ABV 9%

This past Saturday I tasted the Saison Special Eindejaar, by De Glazen Toren brewery.  I realize that this sounds like a mouthful but don’t let the complicated name scare you off, this is one of my favorite beers so far.

The beer pours a little cloudy almost like murky straw, with a nice smell of floral hops.  Considering the higher alcohol level I was expecting a very sweet beer, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The beer starts out very sweet and creamy but right when you think the sweetness is going to take over and be overpowering, it is cut by citrus almost grapefruit notes that balance things out very well.  After swallowing, the mouthfeel of the beer is still a bit creamy with the citrus and very slight bitterness of the hops lingering for quite awhile on the back of you tongue.

This beer is extremely drinkable, you just have to be careful to drink it slowly so as to enjoy every sip, it would be very easy to put this down quickly and miss a lot of the subtleties.

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Logo Ideas

As I began thinking about a logo design, I decided to do one that I might keep with me throughout my career. Seeing as I am going into the music and sound business what is more fitting than trying to combine the Bass and Treble Clefs harmoniously, that and Kikazaru. Kikazaru is one of the “Three Wise Monkeys” from the Japanese proverb that translates to “See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil,” Kikazaru hears no evil. I thought the combination of these elements represents what I am going to try and achieve throughout not only my career but also my life. Let me know which of the four attempts you like the most, and feel free to give any suggestions as to how my idea could be better as well.

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Possible Interview Questions

1) How long has “The Trappist” been open?

2) What did you do before you opened the bar?

3) Why did you decide to open a bar?

4) Where did your love of this type of beer come from?

5) How has your schedule changed since opening the bar?

6) Does owning the bar help or hinder pursuing other interests?

7) What kind of style of beer would you suggest for someone who is completely new to Belgian style beers?

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Emelisse Black and Tan

Emelisse Black and Tan
70 ABV:10%

This last Saturday was a big event for The Trappist, this is the bar I currently work at.  We were holding a tasting event for 12% Imports, an importer of many fine Belgian beers.  The main draw of the night was Emelisse’s Black and Tan, this was of particular interest because it was the only keg on the west coast and one of only three in the Country.  Emelisse’s Black and Tan is a blend of their Russian Imperial Stout and Triple IPA that is aged in scotch whiskey barrels.

This beer pours very dark, with a small off colored head, it smells of very strong with the scotch aroma coming through nicely.  The taste starts out very hoppy and then the smoky flavor comes through, right in the middle is where I would have loved to have tasted a bit more peat flavor from the whiskey casks but I didn’t get much of this, the beer finished very bitter.  A very good beer overall but it felt weak in the middle which caused the bitter finish to be a bit off-putting.  All this being said I would still recommend this at least to try out.

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