“I have no background in science whatsoever. In learning brewing, I wanted to learn the life cycle of yeast, what they like, and what makes them produce what we like. It’s learning the kinds of science that happens naturally—nobody invented beer,” he says, with the same enthusiasm with which he delved into the importance of induction heating during a previous meeting’s lecture session (this week, it was a study—and tasting—of the Leipziger Gose beer style from Germany).
“Once you know how it works, it’s really simple, but there are a lot of people who brew outside of clubs and sometimes they don’t even know they’re making mistakes. If you’re in a club, we can fix them for you,” he says.
Everyone chimes in on the first beer of the night, an English Mild ale. Mike Urban reads off his brew’s target characteristics from his smart phone: “low to mild malt aroma…toasty, nutty aromatics…” he intones, as the brown-sugary malt jumps to my nose.
Consensus is hardly a given.
Belkowski, the former club president, says, “I give the aroma an 8, but the taste…this one seems like a great beer…but then I taste it.”
That’s when newcomer Matt Bobiak, a molecular biologist, emphatically interjects: “I think it’s spot on for the style,” his words carrying a calm gravitas befitting a guy with 20 years experience.
Weikert concurs: “The aroma is excellent, it’s nutty as hell. The malt jumps on the smell—it’s more nutty on the taste.”
The beer is pleasant; the hint of nutty flavor in the aroma comes out on each sip, albeit in a balanced manner that makes it a good session beer—exactly what is required of a ‘Mild.’