Monday, August 08, 2005

August 2005 - Getting Acquainted

Welcome to the Memphis Beer Club. We had our first beer club meeting @ the Flying Saucer in Downtown Memphis. Our first samplings were all different types of beers followed by a sampling of the members' favorites. Here is the beer that we sampled:

We started off with one of my least favorite beers a German Hefeweizen, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier. This beer is brewed by The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan. Nearly one thousand years ago it was the monastery brewery of the Benedictine monks, then the Royal Bavarian State Brewery. Today, as a regulated enterprise of the Freestate of Bavaria, it is a company run according to the precepts of private business. As the oldest existing brewery in the world, our brewery occupies an exalted site atop Weihenstephan Hill in the Bavarian city of Freising. Take a look at there interactive brewery tour.

This beer was the first Hefeweizen that I truly enjoyed and I have now tried more and more. I can only handle one or two at a time, but they are great on hot humid nights in Memphis.

We then tried Stoudts Pils a Classic German Pilsner brewed by the Stoudts brewery in Adams Town, Pennsylvania. This was a well balanced smooth drinkable pilsner that went well with the sausage and cheese plate. Good example of a pilsner, but not a shining star.

Next we enjoyed a Bridgeport IPA, a truly great India Pale Ale. This beer is brewed in Portland Oregon by the BridgePort Brewing (Gambrinus Company). India Pale Ale gets its name and unique style from British brewers who were making beer for export to India. This style has an intense hop flavor which was used to preserve the beer for the long voyage. BridgePort Brewing is Oregon's oldest craft brewery and has received many international brewery metals. The IPA is there flagship beer and is admired and applauded for its rich, robust hoppy taste, derived from the precise combination of five different varieties of hops.

Our next beer was the North Coast Red Seal Ale brewed by North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California. This Amber Ale is quoted by Ed Westemeier of The Cincinnati Enquirer to be "the finest American pale ale available nationally. Loaded with truly intense hop flavor, it's not for the faint hearted, but a delightful reward for lovers of the style". Amber beers are very close in comparison to Pale Ale other then a deeper color and less presense of hops.

One of the most enjoyable beers of the tasting was the Youngs Double Chocolate Stout. This Sweet Stout brewed by the Youngs brewery in Wandsworth, London, England was a pleasant surprise to all the members. You are not going to be able to pound these beers all night, but they have a unique flavor that gets a bad rap by being labeled a stout. Everyone thinks stouts are very "Dark" beers, but in most cases they have deep flavor with a creamy finish. This Sweet Stout is brewed with chocolate malts and real dark chocolate to create a rich and sweet stout. If you are not a stout lover this beer could change your mind!!

After these samples every member picked one of there favorites to beer to share with the group. The first beer was Pilsner Urquell the original Bohemian Pilsner brewed by Plzensky Prazdroj (SABMiller) in Plzen, Czech Republic.

Next we sampled Tennents Lager brewed by Wellpark (Interbrew UK - InBev) of Glasgow, Scottland. Tennent Caledonian was the first company in the UK to brew lager. A company of firsts, they produced the first draught lager in 1924, first canned lager in 1935 and the first keg lager in 1963. This Pale Lager is a great example of the world's most popular style of beer and has become a favorite of Amy Shelton and has been know to sample more than one at a time now and again.

The Spaten Oktoberfestbier is an example of the Oktoberfest/Märzen style of beer. It is brewed by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu (InBev) in Munich, Germany. Spaten Oktoberfestbier was created in 1872 and is the world's first Oktoberfest beer. It had been a staple at the annual Oktoberfest in Munich. This medium bodied beer has achieved its impeccable taste by balancing the roasted malt flavor with the perfect amount of hops. Having a rich textured palate with an underlying sweetness true to tradition.

Next we sampled Anchor Steam Beer brewed by Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco, California. Anchor Steam derives its unusual name from the 19th century when "steam" seems to have been a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America under primitive conditions and without ice. The brewing methods of those days are a mystery and, although there are many theories, no one can say with certainty why the word "steam" came to be associated with beer. For many decades Anchor alone has used this quaint name for its unique beer. This beer is still produced as a California Common style, which originating in 18th century California, where brewers without access to refrigeration produced beers using lager yeasts and warm temperatures.

The last beer of the tasting was picked by Chris Lawrence, JW Dundees Original Honey Brown Lager. This beer is produced by High Falls Brewing Company of Rochester, New York. This American Dark Lager adds just the right amount of Manitoba Wildflower Honey. This creates a smooth Honey flavor that fades to a crisp dry finish.

Welcome to Springfield Brewing Company, one of the few breweries in the world built, operated and owned by a brewery equipment fabrication company. Paul Mueller Company began laying the ground work for Springfield Brewing Company in the fall of 1996 for the purposes of brewery equipment research and development. Anxious to share with the public the wide assortment of fresh, high-quality beers brew in name of innovation, Paul Mueller Company established this restaurant and pub.

Springfield Brewing Company now serves as a state-of-the art brewery to showcase Paul Mueller Company products to domestic and international customers. The focal point of the brewery is our computer-automated brewhouse designed and custom built here in Springfield by Paul Mueller Company. Unlike other small brewhouses, our system incorporates the same modern technologies found in much larger breweries. This design philosophy extends throughout the brewery and includes our four-roll malt mill, wort cooling and aeration system, fermentation tanks, water purification system, and beer filter, making this one of the most advanced brewpubs in the world.

Our commitment to beer quality is simple. We bring together the finest brewing ingredients in one of the finest small brewing facilities in the world to brew excellent beers. We are sure you will agree. Cheers!
Hey Trafford I still expand my beer knowledge weekly. I have been to a Flying Saucer in North Carolina and here in Lexington there is a place called The Pub that has a good slection but nothing will be like the original beer club. Have a great fathers day.
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