Bicycling and writing are not my only interests. Among other things, I have a longtime fascination with brewing and craft beer. I am a Certified judge in the Beer Judge Certification Program, an international organization devoted to developing and upholding standards for evaluating beer. I also completed the Craft Brewing Certification course at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, the oldest brewing school in North America, and I worked for a time as a professional craft brewer. I continue to moderate an online forum for advanced homebrewers. Needless to say, I enjoy making—and of course consuming—a finely brewed beer. I hope to encounter at least a few of those on my trip.
Here are a few random entries concerning this aspect of my life:
Bill is a home-brewer, beer judge and all sorts of other stuff. I bought a 6-pack of Ballantine IPA a month or so ago. Below is how I described that beer in a past thread:
“I was quite impressed by this beer! There is a strong hop aroma; I mostly perceive pine/resin but there is some citrus here as well (more so in the background). There is also a bit of malt on the nose but just a hint. The flavor pretty much follows the nose: a nice hoppy flavor of pine/resin with a bit of citrus. I notice the malt a bit more on the flavor as compared to the nose. The beer has a nice mouthfeel and finish. Overall I would say this beer is a bit more balanced to the hoppy side but there is indeed a pleasant malt backbone as well.”
I sent an e-mail to one of my local beer stores requesting a couple of bottles of the Smuttynose-Stone Cluster’s Last Stand beer. If I am able to get this beer I intend to conduct a side-by-side tasting of this beer with the Ballantine IPA version.