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L.A.W. German Beer Tasting - Review

burumun Sep 24, 2008 11:52 PM

Full post + photos: http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2008/...

LearnAboutWine, an LA-based wine education company, has also been routinely hosting unique, non-wine classes/events that seemed very interesting, so I contacted Ian Blackburn (the owner) and he invited me down to their German Beer Tasting event with beer scribe Tomm Carroll on Sunday (disclaimer: I joined this event for free per Ian's invitation).

Loft218 is actually a loft in industrial downtown LA. You have to buzz in to get into the building, but the setup that Ian has created was a wonderful white tablecloth setting that took me somewhat by surprise.

They had also set up a cheese and dried fruits platter that can be paired with the beers we were drinking, including some wonderful dried cherries from France, smoked gouda, and gruyere.

So. Beer. Before this, I didn't know much at all about beer. Sure I drink hefeweizen, and sure I have a few beers that I like. But my knowledge about different beers extend only to the difference between lager and ale. So after tasting these twelve german beers at this event, I came to learn more about beer than I thought there was to know.

Here are the 12 beers I had (for descriptions etc, please see the blog post - don't want to make this CH post too long ...
)1. Reissdorf Kölsch
A very light and dry ale - a nice one to start off with.
2. Bitburger Pils
A very dry and bitter beer, IMO ... I didn't like it that much although I got used to it after a few gulps.
3. Hofbrau Original Munich Helles

4. Bayrischer Banhof Berliner Weisse
Arguable the most interesting beer we had! Originating from Berlin, this wheat beer is surprisingly sour, due to the additional lactic fermentation (on top of yeast fermentation). A lot of people would be turned off by it and that's why it is typically served with some woodruff or red raspberry syrup. In our case, we were given some woodruff syrup ("waldmeister").

5. Bayrischer Banhof Leipziger Gose
This might be my favorite beer of the day. A wheat ale made with coriander and salt, this beer reminds me of champagne.

6. Schneider Edel-weiss Hefeweizen
7. Spaten Oktoberfestbier (Märzen)
8. Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock
9. Uerige Sticke Dusseldorfer Altbier
A very dry beer. Acidic and bitter. A pretty strong beer with ABV of 6.5%

10. Köstritzer Schwarzbier
This is a dark lager beer that has a roasty, coffee-like aroma, but is surprisingly light and acidic with a dry finish. Because of this, it is aptly known as "the black beer with the blonde soul."

11. 13th Century Grut Beer
A wheat ale made with ginger, caraway, rosemary, anise, and other spices. It has a nice, strong, "spice" aroma and doesn't taste at all bitter. One of my faves of the day.

12. Aecht Schlekerla Rauchbier
My very first smoked beer. Unpasteurized and made entirely from smoked malt, this beer has a very strong smoked nose. Take a whiff and you'd think you were smelling smoked jerky. It has a lo~ng malty finish, and (as you can imagine) paired well with the smoked cheeses.

It was a very informative class where I got to try not only beers I've never had before, but beers I never even knew existed.
We also learned a lot about the histories of German beers and of the different types of beer. We all had a great time (the alcohol helps, I'm sure). We also got a souvenir glass :)

Ian has set up an enjoyable class setting and also a series of great classes!
I'm really looking forward to the Port, Chocolate, and Cheese class in December (I hope it won't sell out after telling you guys this ...)!