Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beer Know-it-All

Today, a guest blog by Emily, our Sales, Marketing, Do-Everything Wonder person.  Emily joined us in January with a natural interest and affinity for all things beer, but since then she has had a crash course in beer, beer styles, making beer, draft issues, you name it.  And, apparently she is putting some of it to good use in service of the beer drinking public.

Beer is on my mind. All the time. And not in an addictive “I need a beer now or else” way, but more of a “What’s going on the beer world, what’s that he’s drinking, I wonder what kind of beer she likes, who would have thought to brew that style, what on earth makes this one taste so bad/good, why don’t they have any good beer here, this place has the best line-up ever” way. I literally woke up in the middle of the night last night, and thought to myself “What was the name of that beer that he told me I should try?”

Because of my position with the brewery handling marketing and sales, I think it’s important that I have a decent understanding of what’s trending in the market, what’s working and what’s not, and to get a sense of what it is that people are looking for. I also try to be knowledgeable about beer in general, how it’s made, what styles there are, what causes certain flavors and aromas to be more prominent than other, and so on and so forth.  Now, I may know more than your average beer drinker (let alone a 25 year old beer drinker), but I still have so much more that I could learn about this craft. But I do enjoy “showing off” how much I have learned in the past 6 months.

For example, a friend and I went out for a drink Sunday afternoon to enjoy the beautiful weather, when the table behind us started grumbling and moaning about their beer. I turned around to listen (you may say eavesdrop, I say listen, tamato tomato) to their conversation with their waiter.  Their beer was super murky and they were convinced the restaurant got a bad keg.  The poor server had no idea what to say, she even admitted she knew very little about beer and said she would get them a new one.  Then I heard something that made me say “Ah-ha!”.  Manny’s. They were drinking Georgetown Brewing Co’s Manny’s Pale Ale.  I decided to interject. I let them know that Manny’s was an unfiltered beer, which means that between the point that the beer was conditioned and kegged, the beer isn't filtered (the way most beers are) and this leaves behind some yeast and other sediment that is naturally in the beer. I explained that the yeast left in unfiltered beer is what causes some beer to be cloudy, whereas filtered beer tends to be clear.

They still were wary.  They had had Manny’s before and it NEVER looked like that before (they really stressed “never” if you didn’t get that). I proceeded to ask the server when the keg was tapped and how it was stored before. She said it was just tapped no more than 30 minutes ago. As for how it was stored, she stopped for minute, thought about it, and said in the cooler.  I asked if it was right side up or upside down in the cooler.  She very confidently said, “Oh, right side up for sure, I tapped it myself”. Ding ding ding! There’s your problem.  I explained that since Manny’s is unfiltered, it should be stored upside down prior to tapping because the yeast will tend to settle on the bottom of a keg, which is where a tap system pulls from, therefore causing the beer to be extra cloudy and murky.  I had her pour a pitcher or two through, and voila, the Manny’s they know and love.

They proceeded to drink and enjoy their Manny’s in the sun while I basked in my “Look how much I know about beer” success. It’s the little things in life that make me smile.


  1. I do have to agree that it was cloudy due to be infiltered, but i do disagree on storing the keg upside down. If you store the keg upside down and then flip it and pour, you will have a whole keg of cloudy beer for several days, maybe a week, rather then a pitcher or two. It would be better if the bar staff were properly informed of this before and could answer the questions rather then a outsider be more informative.

  2. great blog emily. should check on the upside down thing. your getting better every day.

  3. As for storing the keg upside down, I got that information from the local distributor of Georgetown Brewing Company. Hopefully I wasn't misinformed!

  4. I think the idea behind storing a keg upside is that when you turn it over to serve it, you end up with the desirable sediment spread throughout the beer, rather than collected. That has been the suggestion with many Hefe's for just that reason. I didn't realize that Manny's was unfiltered, but I have to assume that they want the (even) cloudiness as a feature, rather than wanting to ask restaurants to pour out a portion of the keg. And no matter what, I just learned something I didn't know before, so thanks Emily!

  5. I am truly delighted to read this post regarding beer which contains plenty of helpful facts, thanks for providing these data. Great article, exactly what I needed.