Learning to drink at Beer College: my 1 yr drinking challenge continues

Martin Tucker, creator of Keg King, co-founder of the Cape Town Festival of Beer, and champion beer guru, played host to an awesome evening of beer education.  

Beer College | Milk and Cookies

All we needed to bring was a curiosity of beer and an open mind.  I obviously brought a pen and paper; in no world can I play it cool.

In line with My 1yr drinking challenge, I need to learn about beer in South Africa, it’s tough work but someone’s got to do it.

I’ve always been attracted to a nice cold crisp beer.  Probably because wherever anyone is drinking a cold brew, I can usually get away with wearing my slip-slops.

After a few Black Labels we sat ready to consume: beer and knowledge.

So, here’s what I learned in beer college (what some might argue as the best college), and, feel free to add your own facts below:

Beer Facts:

Ales and Lagers:
Ales and lagers are the two categories of your basic beer, all other beer falls into these two.

Ales are brewed using a top-fermenting yeast at higher temps for shorter periods of time.
Lagers
 are beers that are fermented with bottom-fermenting yeast at lower temps for longer periods of time.

I think I’m turning into a lager lover.

Filtered vs. unfiltered:
The easiest way to tell if your beer has been filtered is to hold your hand up behind the glass and if you can see through it’s filtered; if it’s blurry as that black out night at uni- unfiltered.

Some people argue that unfiltered is more natural and leaves space for more flavour (any advice on this one, experienced drinkers?).  

Beer with food:
Black Label:  grab some hard cheeses like parmesan, a light fish, or eats that are a bit sweeter and the fruity flavours in the beer will shine.
Guinness: bring on the oyster buffet and your Guinness should pair perfectly with that fresh taste of the ocean.
Cherry Kriek:  sweet dessert beer that the ladies really seem to love, and it’s red, bonus!

Awesome beer facts:
Trappist Beer
: limited edition beer actually brewed by monks in Belgium and the Netherlands; but seriously – actually brewed in monasteries over 100 years old.
Beer head:
 not just a pervy saying or a moustache maker, the frothy foam that sits atop your ale indicates the amount of bubbles in your beer and allows for a rich aroma.

And, the down-downs:
No college experience is complete with out a proper drinking challenge.

Keg King threw down a tasting competition that in turn resulted in a down-downs drink off.  While Martin, down-downing at an impeccable rate, drank his beer in an utter flash, Anel from Wine Times took the trophy making lady boozers proud all over South Africa.

This is why I like beer, because at the end of it all, people are doing down-downs.

Feel free to add your beer facts and bits to the article comments as the 1yr drinking challenge continues.

Follow @MilkandCookieSA on twitter.

An article written for food24.com

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