Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Beer dinner with Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery

Man I’ve been busy. Again. Not only with work doing the day, but I’ve also been working pretty hard to book my cover band’s 2012 summer/fall wedding schedule (we’re placing an emphasis on weddings next year, which means brides are looking to discuss and sign contracts right now). This, along with keeping up my beer-related activities has left zero time to sit on the couch and actually blog about those experiences. But, I’ve found some time on a Sunday morning to crank out a bunch of posts for the coming weeks, so here I go.

A few weeks ago, I learned through the St. Paul Homebrewers’ Club (SPHBC) that Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster from Brooklyn Brewery would be coming to town to put on a few events in promotion of Brooklyn Brewery’s arrival to Minnesota this year, as well as his new book, The Oxford Companion to Beer (which has since been met with mixed reviews – here is a dissatisfied contributor’s). The event my wife and I attended was a beer dinner Sunday night 10/9/11 at Grumpy’s up in Roseville, MN.

Garret had a lot of great beers to show off and food pairings to match. I don’t remember too much detail from this event, however, as there were only four people (one of which was my pregnant, abstinent wife) at my table set for eight and thus we received just as much beer as any other table. I took full advantage of this scenario and felt HORRIBLE the next day. 🙂 I can relay that Garrett was nearly as engaging a public speaker as he is skilled with the mash paddle. It was refreshing to be unexpectedly entertained by his dialogue, as he seems completely comfortable discussing his beers and promoting the brewery in front of an audience. When Garret came around to say hello to our table, I asked him how he’s developed his public speaking skills and it sounded like it has a lot to do with a broadcast journalism background (that I’m not sure he ever ended up utilizing). I was pretty buzzed by the time he made it to our table, so forgive me if I’m totally remembering that conversation incorrectly.

I can hardly remember what we tasted. I think there were approximately seven different beers we tried. I know we had their flagship Brooklyn Lager (very tasty Vienna-style lager), Post Road pumpkin ale, Oktoberfest, Brown Ale, Blast double IPA, Black Chocolate Stout and a few others. I LOVED the Black Chocolate Stout. This was the only beer they brought to us in small individual tasting glasses (the rest came to the table in pitchers). There is no chocolate in the brew but a careful mixture of roasted malts produces a chocolate effect in flavor and aroma. Pretty cool.

What was also cool about this event is that my wife and I got in for $15 each instead of $25 due to a discount code I heard about through SPHBC. All that food and great beer for such a cheap price… I was so close to calling in sick for work the next day. Man, Sunday night beer dinners are rough. Poor, poor me.


One response

  1. Pingback: Great beer pairings as of late « Barking Dog Beer

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