Beer Tasting [ Be G H I ]

Well, I finally made the plunge - I had a beer tasting event at my house. The best part was how the weather in CT wasn't helping - so much snow I had to send a parking diagram to everyone.

We had all the beers set around the dining table, with a description of each below the bottle(s). The description even included what foods and desserts went well with the beers. I had even gone to the trouble of setting some smoked Gouda cheese and bacon near the Rauchbier - smoked beer. Although it's not clear in the photo, we even had bottles of water to rinse out the tasting glasses, and even "spit buckets." As luck would have it a local discount store had beer-branded (e.g. Corona)!

My very understanding, tolerant and wonderful wife made her famous guacamole and spinach-artichoke dip, but the rest of the cooking was my job. We had foodstuffs in the following categories:
Meats: roast pork, barbecue roast pork, chicken breasts, hamburgers, smoked salmon, German bratwurst, bacon and soupy
Veggies: carrots, celery, mini corn, various olives, sweet pickles, tomatoes, peppers, coleslaw, ceasar salad (w/optional anchovies), guacamole and spinach artichoke dip and peiorgi
Cheese: smoked Gouda, Brie, Stilton, Monterey Jack and Gorgonzola
Bread: miscellaneous grains and rackers, Ritz, mini buns, corn chips, Ruffle, rye bread
Dessert: pecan pie, various cheesecakes, oatmeal-raisin and lemon shortbread cookies, strawberries and chocolate

The beers were a mix, I tried to go from Anheuser-Busch Budweiser to Brewdog Sink the Bismarck. Yes as a special treat I had the strongest 2nd strongest 3rd strongest beer in the world. We used small communion cups to taste it, so as not to waste it - plus it was a sublime, nearly-religious experience!

In no particular order, as I put the beers around the table to "break it up" so to speak: 
Hooker    Old Marley USA CT    Ale    Barleywine    10.0%
De Ranke Guldenberg    Belgian Abbey Ale Belgium    Ale    Belgian Abbey Tripel    8.5%
St. Benedictus Abbey    Trappist Achel Belgium    Ale    Belgian Abbey    8.0%
Van Eecke    Hommelbier Belgium    Ale    Belgian Blonde    7.5%
Franches Montagnes    Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien 2005    Switzerland    Ale    Belgian Strong    15.5%
Bosteels     Kwak Belgium    Ale    Belgian Strong Pale    8.0%
Brewery Het Anker Gouden Carolus triple    Belgium    Ale     Belgian Triple    9.0%
Coniston Brewing    Premium XB Bluebird Bitter UK    Ale    Bitter    4.2%
Cottrell    Old Yankee Ale USA CT    Ale    English Brown    5.0%
Weyerbacher    Double Simcoe IPA USA PA     Ale     India Pale Ale     9.0%
Boon    Kriek Belgium Ale     Lambic w/cherries    4.0%
Sierra Nevada    Pale Ale USA CA    Ale    Pale    5.6%
Dog Brewing    Stillwater Artisanal existent USA MD    Ale    Saison    7.4%
Brooklyn    Black Ops Stout USA NY    Ale    Stout    10.6%
Samuel Smith    Tadcaster Oatmeal Stout UK     Ale    Stout, Oatmeal     5.0%
Beijing Yanjing brewery     Yanjing China    Lager    American lager     5.0%   
Ayinger    Jahrhundert-Bier Germany    Lager    Dortmund    4.4
New England Brewing    Elm City Lager    USA CT     Lager     Pils, German    5.0%
Ayinger    Bräu-Weisse     Germany    Lager    Hefeweizen (wheat)    5.1%
Sünner     Kölsch Germany    Lager    Kolsch    5.2%
Anheuser Busch    Budweiser    USA    Lager    Light Lager     5.0%
Modelo     Corona Extra Mexico     Lager     Light Lager     4.6%
Ayinger    Oktoberfest Marzen     Germany    Lager    Marzen     5.8%
Hofbrau    Hofbrau original     Germany    Lager    Munich Helles    5.1%
Blossom Industries     Taj Mahal India    Lager    Pale    4.5%
Heller    Aecht Ochlenterla Rauchbier Germany    Lager    Rauchbier (smoke)     5.1%
Williams Brothers     Fraøch Heather Ale Scotland    Ale    Pale, Classic      5.0%

So we have beers from light lagers to barleywines, alcohol from 4% to 41%, and brewery size from Van Eecke in Belgium (not the smallest I've seen) to Beijing Yanjing brewery (550 acres!). I have also tried to now (why not years ago?) put photos of beer bottles on the Net.
There were several handouts provided, some of these were just ones I made up based on an Internet reference, such as the hymn to Ninkasi, the Sumerian Goddess of Brewing; as well as many beer references. This includes (in no particular order) what beer should I drink, beer types in the beer universe, a whimsical periodic table of beer, the Beer Judging Certification Program color guides, beer CO2 amounts for those concerned with non-man-made, unstoppable global warming, the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi from 1700 BC, and last but certainly not least the Reinheitsgebot.

I think everyone had a fun time. There were some surprises, such as how much people enjoyed the Hooker barleywine and the Boon Kriek. And I was told by many that the food/beer pairing info as well as the foods available made it even more fun.

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