Welcome to the tasting room

Mike Buhler
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Beer tastings a good way to broaden your palate

I know from time to time I throw out the names of some beer styles or brands that I’m sure make plenty of people ask themselves: “what is that?” and I don’t go on to explain what they are.

Here’s one way to find an opportunity to try something you might not have run across before: go to a beer tasting. — photo by Thinkstock.com

I apologize for that but I do have every intention of returning to them at some point with more information for you. And I’m sure that some of you say to yourselves: “how am I supposed to get a chance to try that?”

Here’s one way to find an opportunity to try something you might not have run across before: go to a beer tasting.

The phenomenon is a fairly new thing in this province.

To my knowledge, the first real dedicated beer tasting in Newfoundland was in November of 2012 with a pretty interested cross-section of people from full-on beer geeks to people who hadn’t experienced much more than Coors Light.

That first tasting was an event with four beers from Dieu du Ciel in the first beer club offering. Since then there have been semi-regular events, from fundraisers to beer-paired dinners.

Almost all of these events were put off with beers that, until then, had never been offered for sale in the province.

The beer club members get notifications by email and the beerthief.ca website posts upcoming events on the blog section. These events are open to the public and directions are given for payment and the location.

The evening usually starts with people checking in upon arrival where they get a beer to sip on as a thirst quencher as they settle in for the tasting to start. When everyone has arrived and all are seated to begin, there are some introductions of the people working the event pouring samples, bartending and anyone else who needs thanking for their role during the evening.

The host is also introduced and the games begin.

The discussion usually starts out with a brief introduction of which beers are in the lineup and some banter while the first samples are being poured.

There will always be discussion about the tasting sheets and how they work, plus some explanation of how to taste beer for the best results.

The evening rolls on with running commentary on each beer, outlining origin, history, anecdotes and whatever else the host cares to talk about. Guests are encouraged to add what they think about the beer or what they taste.

It’s a fun, social evening, with ample opportunity to meet other like-minded people.

The intent of these tasting events is largely as an educational forum to introduce people to the wide world of beer.

Yes, there are the beer geeks who have tried a lot and know a lot, but the people the hosts really want to reach are the people who have not had those opportunities or are brand new to it all and are there to see what it’s all about.

The people who host these events are very passionate about beer and what they like to do most on these occasions is to share their passion and knowledge and hopefully light a spark in the newcomers and kindle an interest in their personal road to discovery in finding new styles to try and new beers to fall  in love with.

Come on out and join the fun.

Mike Buhler is a certified cicerone.

Email him at mike@beerthief.ca, or check out beerthief.ca for information on beer club offerings.

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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