Blog of an aspiring foodie

Details of the Malt Tasting on 29-August

Posted by beer_chris on 21-August-2010

OK, awesome. Who are you guys again?

I’m Chris White, AKA @beer_chris on Twitter and to a lesser extent (at least lately) on the Houston Chowhound forum. I’m a homebrewer, Houston Chowhound and all around beer nerd.

Ted Duchesne (@barleyvine) has a beer blog (Link) that he updates regularly. Ted is knowledgeable on all things beer and has hosted a number of events like this in the past.

Ted and I have been talking about hosting a beer tasting of sorts with Danielle Clark for some time now.

What the heck is malt and why would I want to taste it?

Malt is the name given to a cereal grain that has been allowed to germinate and had that sprouting stopped via kilning . This process turns the grain into malt. Malted barley is literally (with a few exceptions) the stuff that beer is made of.  The variety of barley and how it is malted can have a major effect on the taste and the color of a beer. There’s more detail to the magic of malting – that’s what we’ll discuss at the tasting.

OK great. You didn’t really answer my second question. Why a malt tasting? Why not just a beer tasting?

There’s been a lot of focus lately in the craft beer world on big, complex beers that redefine or even flaunt traditional styles. I love these as much as any beer geek, but lost somewhere in this big beer love is a simple appreciation for the most fundamental of ingredients – malt.

I’m not a beer geek, and I don’t want to be one. Should I consider this?

We have selected ‘accessible’ brews for the tasting. That means two things:
  1. All can be purchased here in Houston, most at just about anywhere.
  2. All are relatively straightforward beers, but are good examples of a specific variety of malt – either in flavor or color.

The complexity in these beers is coming from the malts, and the malts alone, or at least that’s the idea. If you like it you can go down the street to Kroger or Specs and buy it. It’s that simple.

We honestly believe that this is a great way for people that don’t usually like beer or are generally tentative about trying craft beer (that means you, oenophile!) to get a good solid foundation in one of the most fundamental flavor components. You may not leave the tasting loving every beer you try, but we think you’ll find something new here that will make you think differently about beer, and that’s a goal of the event.

Grandiose vision aside, Ted and I just like drinking, talking, blogging and tweeting about beer. We’re passionate about it. We would love to share some of that with you.

Sounds like fun! How will it work? How much beer do I get?

AHA! I knew that question was coming!

AGENDA: I’ll provide an introduction to the malting process and there will be examples of the various types of malt we will be tasting available to try. Ted will speak about the background of each beer, the type of malt we feel that brew best exemplifies and then we’ll drink and discuss.

BEERS: Approximately 10 beers will be tasted. Enough beer will be poured to give everyone ~4 oz tasting, with some to spare for those that are your special favorites. We will give everyone a written list of the beers, the prices and the background information.

TIMING: We will start promptly at 3 PM, and have four hours for the event which should be plenty of time.

FOOD: We will provide water crackers, pretzels and are trying to figure out exactly what small bites means :-). There will not be a meal served, so plan accordingly. Eating a later lunch would probably be a good plan

SAFETY: At the most this is 40 oz of beer (just over 3 bottles) in approximately 4 hours, which should be fine for most. If you feel you need a taxi or designated driver, let us know!

COST: Please plan on $20, although we feel it will be closer to $15. We’ll be ready to make change at the event, and will let those of you that sign up know the details ahead of the date.

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