Pairing beer with food
As a Certified Beer Server, you will often serve beer to be enjoyed with food. Ultimately, pairing beer with food comes down to personal preference. There are some guidelines that will help you select beer to be paired with any food.
Beer ingredients and brewing processes
Providing excellent beer service is more than pouring a beer, or even helping a customer select the right beer. You must be able to talk intelligently about the product and how it was made. You must know at least a little about beer ingredients and brewing processes.
Now we’re down to the last 2 parts of the syllabus. Today we’re starting Part 4 of the Certified Beer Server Syllabus: Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes. The syllabus just has one section for this part, which includes: grains, hops, yeast, and water. It looks like a lot of material for one section; I’ll try and fit it into one post.
Beer is a perishable food product. There are many ways that beer can become contaminated before it arrives at your business, or it can just get too old. It is important to be able to identify “off” flavors so you know when to get the customer a replacement.
Identify normal flavors of beer and their source
The aromas and flavors in beer come from its ingredients. It’s not only the ingredients, but how they’re prepared and used in the recipe. This section discusses the three (4) main components of beer and what aromas and flavors they produce.
Taste and flavor
By becoming more aware of your senses and then developing a vocabulary to articulate those senses, you can develop a deeper understanding of beer. When you are better able to tease out different aromas and flavors, and when you are able to articulate those senses into words, you can better understand why different characteristics are present in a beer, you can understand what a customer wants, and you can know when a beer has gone bad.
Alright! We’ve gotten over the hump. That part about the beer styles was brutal, so we’ve got to be on the home stretch now. We’re now in part 3 of the Certified Beer Server syllabus: Beer Flavor and Evaluation. This is where we’re finally talking about actually tasting beer. We’re going to tease out how to evaluate a beer, how to identify the normal flavors of beer, and a bit about off-flavors. Then we’ll close up the last 2 quick sections of the syllabus. Woohoo!!
History, characteristics, and flavor attributes of styles by region
In the previous lesson we learned how to describe a beer by its qualitative and quantitative measurements. Now we can dig into the different styles of beer.
It’s important to know the defining characteristics for a variety of beer styles. As beer servers, we’ll not only need to speak in an educated manner of the products we’re selling, but sometimes we’ll also need to help customers decide which beer they want.
Beer tasting flight at Golden Road Brewing, Los Angeles, California, September 14, 2013.
Beer styles can be measured qualitatively and quantitatively. Today’s lesson describes the different ways to measure the characteristics of a beer, and understand its style.
Understanding beer styles
Beer is perhaps more varied than wine. BJCP Style Guidelines lists approximately 80 different styles of beer, many of which have been around for centuries—or longer! And each of those styles have stories as varied as the cultures from which they originated.