In the Session this month, Pete Brown, asks us what does the “beer moment” mean. Honestly, this one has given me a bit of trouble. Quite a few images come to mind but I am not sure that any of them really mean anything at all. Maybe we should just do a bit of exploring and an answer may be forthcoming.
At home I have several “beer moments.” Or is it possible that it is just one long beer moment? It starts on brew day. The smell of cracked grain prepared to go into the mash, then the smells that emanate from the mash itself, its intoxicating. We move to the hops, each variety has a communal smell with an underlying scent that each calls their own. To end at the wort boiling away, the smell fills the room.
We then move on to the first taste of the unfermented wort, sweet and unrefined. There is an underlying bitterness that will eventually come into focus. Anticipation as we wait for the first sign of fermentation. Elation, to witness the strong fermentation. And then we come to day that the fermented beer goes to keg or to bottle. This taste of warm, flat beer, possibly something akin to the first beers at least in spirit if not flavor, it is a bit green still but the underlying flavors are starting to show themselves.
The first pint is poured. You examine the color, the clarity, the head, a touch critically; we are always our own worst critics. The aroma next, because its a wonder at how much it is the same yet different than when it was first made. The sum of the individual parts making something new. Finally, the first sip. The smells, the textures, the flavors all come together in that first sip, an explosion of experience. It takes all of that glass, well maybe one or two more, to explore fully the liquid you now have.
Time for a pint…