Good morning, one and all, Stoutmeister here with a quick recap of Thursday night’s Beer 101 at Marble. First off, I GOT TO TRY THE 505-FIVE BEFORE (almost) EVERYONE ELSE! WOOOO-HOOOO!!!!
Ahem, anyway, this year’s collaboration beer by ABQ’s Big Five (Chama River, Il Vicino, La Cumbre, Marble, and Nexus) is considered an Imperial IPA. Personally, I found it to be more of a hoppy IPA combined with a malty imperial red. It’s a tough beer that is not for the timid, but I highly recommend you try it and tell us what you think. We will be at Il Vicino tonight so the rest of the Crew can sample this beast.
Back to Beer 101, a wonderful class that Marble holds every year to open Beer Week. As E-Rock experienced last year, it is a great way to familiarize yourself with various beer styles and discern the sometimes subtle, sometimes significant variances between them.
With Ted and Angelo from Marble as our hosts, we got to sample 10 styles of beer, ranging from a pilsner (Stella Artois) to a Russian Imperial Stout (Oskar Blues’ Ten Fidy). You are only told the style of your beer when you get your small sample, only later do you find out what you have been drinking. In between Ted provided our class with an overview of how all those malted grains and hops eventually combine to form the goodness we know as beer. We even had numerous opportunities to ask questions about beer styles and the brewing process. I asked what is the difference between a porter and a stout, to which Ted replied, “One man’s porter is another man’s stout.” In truth, stouts are typically drier, with more of a coffee flavor and a thicker mouthfeel. Porters tend to be lighter, with more of a chocolate flavor.
For those who are new to craft beer, I highly recommend you attend when this event occurs again in 2014, especially if you want to learn the ins and outs of how beer is brewed, or if you are just looking to learn how to tell apart all those beers you have been drinking and what characteristics are common to the different styles. For those that missed it this year because you kept procrastinating buying your tickets in advance, hopefully you learned your lesson. Like a lot of Beer Week events, this one sold out.
For the curious, we got to sample the following beers. We tried to guess which was which, but most of the time we collectively came up short.
German Pilsner: Stella Artois (I guess this counts as a pilsner; Monica from ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers Group correctly called this one)
Oktoberfest: Paulaner (I got this one)
Scottish Export: Odell’s 90 Shilling (missing this one almost caused me to punch myself)
Belgium Tripel: New Belgium’s Trippel (as a collective we guessed right)
Witbier: Marble’s Double White (so that’s what it tastes like, very citrusy and all; honestly, I’d avoided it since it’s not my preferred style)
American Pale Ale: Sierra Nevada (a few of us guessed Goose Island; oops, we should have known it was one of the gold standards for the genre)
American IPA: Deschutes Inversion IPA (the only consensus we mustered was that it was on the West Coast, but none of us thought it was from that far north; either way, a great IPA for a non-IPA drinker like myself; leave Stone for the hopheads)
Imperial IPA: 505-Five (everyone knew it was made at Marble, but most figured it was either the Anniversary Ale from the night before or the regular Marble DIPA)
Flanders Brown Ale: Marble’s Oud Bruin (wow this beer was different; not my style, but others loved it)
Russian Imperial Stout: Oskar Blues Ten Fidy (kicking myself again for missing this one)
Anyway, the next time you’re out on the town and not at Marble, or you’re visiting your local liquor store, I highly recommend seeking out the Ten Fidy, Inversion IPA, and Paulaner Oktoberfest. But ultimately, you’re best off just going to Marble and enjoying all of their great beers. Support local first and foremost!
Thanks again to Ted, Angelo, and the rest of the Marble staff for putting on this great event. And a special happy birthday to Beer Week co-founder Marne Gaston! It was Thursday, but she will still be celebrating on Friday, so if you see her, thank her for all of her hard work and wish her a happy one!