The Science of Beer at The Bearded Monk

Mike Goldfuss, co-founder of The Collective Brewing Project, is hosting a tasting course exploring the off flavors of beer as part of the 12 Beers of Christmas this Wednesday, December 21st, at The Bearded Monk. This won’t be your typical tasting; instead of noticing those flavors of your favorite brew that are enhanced by food, you will get the educational experience of understanding what can go wrong in the process. Hell hath frozen over if the weather wasn’t already an inclination because this will be the one and only time you can partake in a Bud Light at the Monk.

A vile of chemicals will be added to each pitcher of Bud Light with samples distributed throughout the class. Following a more educational format, Goldfuss will go through each of the 6 situations that can occur and take participants through the process of what happens to create the off flavor. Whether you’re toying around with the idea of home brewing or a connoisseur of crafts, this class will take it past the malty, fruity, or bitter flavors of beer we love so much and allow you to expand your understanding of the brewing by breaking down the off flavors that can be created by steps in the process.

A beer without a strong flavor is needed to serve as the base, and Goldfuss will infect each taste a little differently so you can recognize the characteristic off flavors of beer that had something go awry. “For example cardboard, this beer is oxidized, it means a beer has been infected by oxygen,” explains Goldfuss. Dentonites may know how to enjoy a delicious beer, but “if you taste this [cardboard], that means your beer is oxidized, and you can let the bartender know.”

Another off flavor is green apple or fresh cut pumpkin, which indicates the presence of Acetaldehyde, an intermediate compound in the formation of alcohol. When your tastebuds pick up this off flavor, the beer is probably too young and needs more time in the tank. Or that delicious (!!) taste when you take a sip of your pint and it feels like you just licked the inside of a popcorn bag. That could indicate that Diacetyl is present. If the brewing process is delayed by weak yeast or improper aeration, a greater amount of Diacetyl can be created before the fermentation process begins. If the yeast can not consume all the Diacetyl that was produced, the buttery qualities of the chemical can overpower the beer.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite or through the event page, and are a steal for $16 a piece, so scoop yours up now before they are sold out! The Bearded Monk has plenty going on this week, make sure to check out their Facebook page to learn more.

Header Image by Brittany Keeton