In addition to tasting an amazing amount of wine, we also attended an international beer seminar. The seminar was hosted by InBev, the distributors of the beer we tried.
The seminar was one of those lovely freebies, included with the price of admission. Of course, managing the freebie seminars was always a challenge. At one point we found ourselves in "England." We had to cut out of a Twinings tea seminar at the Tea shop one cup early in order to catch the InBev Beer Seminar at the Rose & Crown pub. Not only is the timing a challenge, but the competition to get into the seminars is fierce. Each seminar only has so many seats available. Prospective attendees line up about 2 hours before the seminar to receive a ticket. Once you have scored the magic ticket, you can wander around for an hour or so before the seminar starts. Of course, you have to return early enough to land a decent seat.
The beer seminar was held in the patio at the Rose & Crown pub on the banks of the Epcot lake. It’s really a great atmosphere for the seminar. Each table of three was given a bucket of five beers, including
All of these are beers that are readily available in your local grocer, so I’m not sure how global these are anymore. Hoegaarden was my favorite, followed by Brahma and Bass. After the jump, find our notes on each beer.
One interesting tidbit from the seminar is the mnemonic WHY ME. WHY ME represents the ingredients in beer:
Extra stuff, such as fruit
So there you have it – beer is made from WHY ME.
Beck’s Premier Light – Admittedly I am a beer snob. I simply cannot stand the taste of most light beers, particularly American mass-market light beers. My snobby taste buds roundly rejected Beck’s Premier Light. This beer has only 64 calories and only 2.3% alcohol. It’s not a beer to drink if you’re purpose is to get drunk. You drink this beer if you like the taste. It’s crisp, and slightly fruity. I didn’t find it as bitter as Bud Light, but I didn’t find it overly memorable either.
Brahma – Brahma is a Brazilian beer and is currently (per the InBev guy) the #6 beer in the world. I really liked Brahma. I’m not sure if I’ve had it before, but I’ll definitely buy it again. It had a definite citrus flavor to it, very tropical. The InBev rep finally let us in on the flavor: papaya. Not what you’d expect in a beer!
Hoegaarden – I’ve had Hoegaarden before, but am guilty of always pronouncing it wrong. It’s not ho-garden. It’s who-garden. Who knew? Hoegaarden is a Belgian ale (and I do love my Belgian ales) and has been voted (by whom?) the #1 wheat beer 3 years in a row. It has the flavors of oranges and coriander, and the flavor is further enhanced by dropping in an orange rind.
Stella Artois – Another statistic for you. This is currently the #1 beer in both New York and San Francisco. So there you go. If you’re young and trendy, you drink Stella. I can’t stand it. Interestingly, Stella was originally a Christmas brew, but was so popular, it outlasted the season. It’s slightly floral, but I found it to be slightly bitter and rather hoppy.
Bass Pale Ale – This beer resides in our refrigerator so often I’m not sure why I even took tasting notes. This is a winner across the board in our house. It is chock full of caramel and toffee, maybe even a little coffee. Another interesting tidbit – Bass is called a pale ale because it is pale in comparison to Guinness and other brews at the time it was trademarked.
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