Beer at Kent District Library, new brew coming KDaLe
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI-What do beer and books have in common? Well, there are books about beer and home brewing at the libraries. And the Kent District Library Englehardt branch supports creative partnerships, according to library director Josh Bernstein.
Stacey Faba of Pauly’s presented four microbrews from their store in Lowell at the tasting event in January.
This was the second event of its king after wine tasting last fall. What is more complex beer or wine? Well it depends on who you ask. The French would say wine, the Czechs would say beer.
However, due to the recent invasion of microbrews it’s not as straight cut as it used to be. That’s why KDL held the sampling event.
“How do you navigate the sea or ocean of microbrews?”
Well, you can start by pairing microbrews with food, and sample Michigan brews. “If you’re used to Budweiser, don’t start with IPAs,” said Faba. “I don’t have four favorite Michigan beers. It changes daily. You wouldn’t have meatloaf for dinner every day either.”
Pauly’s has been at East Fulton since 2008 with 650 different beers, a wine set and a liquor set.
“We sample everything that comes into the store,” said Faba. “I am a fan of fresh beer and lively. But, that changes daily.
Faba presented four beers in a first time collaboration for beer tasting. The event is per registration only, and it is kept down to 30 people.
Now, in deep winter we’re in the Stout season with its full body and foam. In general, according to Faba, dark beers are better in colder temperatures, while light ales are great to quench the summer thirst.
So, we had some Vanilla Java Porter, which is a stout. We also sampled a Belgian style Belgian Red with fruity characteristics.
“It is hoppier than average,” said Faba.
Although complex, the basics of beer are simple. Every beer starts with malt, hops, water and yeast. The result is only as good as the ingredients, just like culinary creations.
However, the taster of different beers, can change in a matter of days, according to Faba.
“In two weeks the beer starts evolving in the bottle as the acid settles,” she said.
A true seller temperature is 58F. However, for storing 50F is best. The lighter beers require cooler temperatures, while the heavier beers require warmer temperatures.
Most craft beers should be stored under four months. As in the case of Kentucky Breakfast Stout, nothing good is going to happen to it with longer storage.
Also barley wines should be kept fresh and young, although the high alcohol content holds them longer.
Spring beer release is in February such as Big Foot from Sierra Nevada. It goes well with zucchini or banana breads or marsalla sauce.
However, beware Faba warns:
“Light is a huge enemy of beer and it begins with the decap of beer,” she said. “Try side by side beer in a bottle and beer in a can.”
Corona in white bottles is a typical example of light penetration. The beer acquires a “skunky” flavor, that’s why lime is used.
“In 20 minutes it has a different taste,” Faba said.
More and more beers are being canned even by breweries like Sam Adams, who put Boston Lager in cans.
“You can carry more cans than bottles,” Faba said.
Cleanliness is paramount in beer making; and not just washing but sanitation.
Aging depends on the beer. Pauly’s does age beers and releases them when the time is rights.
Sours (beers) provide a link between wine and beer, and they go well with fatty foods like pulled pork, because the acidity cuts through it.
Craft beer movement is on the rise as tastes and palates evolve, and who doesn’t like to experiment with new stuff?
Water is just important to beer like cleanliness to your kitchen.
“At Bell’s you could eat off the floor,” Faba said.
Dark beers are also good for floats and with desserts. Beer is also more flexible than wine for pairings. Vanilla Java Black goes well with cannoli or a hearty stews.
But, always know what you like. Be flexible. Ask for a sample. Whether wine or beer, price is not always of quality or your particular taste.
“They can appreciate or depreciate at any price point,” said Faba. “It’s a matter of personal preference. Watch for the memories in your head, the company you had.”
Taste the samples in the right order. And remember, as Faba puts it, “No two beers are the same.
“Libraries are where people come to find out about part of our culture,” said Bernstein. “We have 100 titles on beer.”
KDL will host a wrap-up party on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Gravel Bottom Brewery at 418 Ada Drive in Ada with a brewery tour and the release of the new KD aLe beer.
For more information visit www.kdl.org
or Pauly’s at http://www.paulys.net
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