Day 284

I recently bumped into a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a few weeks, and I mentioned my summer employment at a small brewery.

“Ahh!” exclaimed the friend enviously. “You must be drinking a lot of beer.”

Drinking a lot of beer? Uh well, no.

Tasting a lot of beer? For sure.

Every day, we draw samples of beer from each fermenter, noting aroma, colour, and change in flavour profile from the previous day. (I say “we” in the sense that it’s actually the brewmaster or assistant brewmaster drawing the samples, while I get a taste because I just happen to be passing by at exactly the right moment. Passing by at the right moment is an important life skill.)

Likewise, before bottling, we taste the beer from the bright tank. Then several times during the bottling process, we choose a bottle at random, pour it into a glass and examine it for aroma, colour, carbonation and flavour. (Yeah, it’s that “we” thing again. Well, hey, I am right there packing cartons, I don’t even have to pretend to be just passing by at the right moment.)

Before kegging, we draw a sample and check it for aroma, colour, clarity, carbonation and flavour. (Now that is one time when it’s actually part of my job to sample the beer–if there’s something wrong with the beer, the person filling the kegs represents the last opportunity to catch the problem.)

So, all in all, a lot of sampling during the day, but not a lot of drinking.

To be frank, there’s just too much to do in the brewery and not enough time to drink.




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