Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gestalt Theory: Blending a Barrel-aged Sour Beer. Hosted by Andy Parker, Barrel Herder at Avery Brewing Co

Avery Brewing has been a brewery that does more than brew and pour beer. It's become an educational brewery where they have hosted events that focus on the process of making beer. Gestalt Theory was one of those educational events with Head Barrel-aging Master, Andy Parker as host and lecturer. He has been a brewer at Avery for around 11 years. The start of their barrel-aging craze was as Andy calls it, "On a whim".   Andy ask Adam Avery if he could barrel-age a few of their beers and of course, it was given the thumbs up.
Andy Parker is behind the bar.

Salvation, Reverend, and Hog Heaven were barrel-aged with various results. At this stage of the learning curb, Andy was an infant. But since then he has become "The Master".

The "lecture" was about the blending process of the making of Emermita V. When you open a bottle of a sour beer, the first thing is nose,  the lovely aroma and then the taste of the beers flavors burst in your mouth and the last phase is the after flavors which is much like drinking any other beer except the process of making the sourness or tartness isn't at all like brewing a brown or an IPA. Just for Emermita V is took many barrel-aged beer and many blind tasting for this sour beer.

 I learned that blending sour beer is a long process that on first glance seems like a sweet job, but after the lecture I realized it takes dedication and a good palate. Andy said that on some days of barrel tasting, his palate becomes saturated with the sourness of the beers that he has to walk away and drink a palate cleanser such as Avery's Joe's Pilsner.

Avery Brewing has these kinds of events throughout the year and it's well worth the price of a ticket. Andy Parker did a wonderful job with his knowledge and humor.

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