LOCALadk Magazine

LOCALadk Spring 2017

LOCALadk Magazine

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Spring 2017 LOCALadk Magazine 51 LOCALadk An ever-so-slight vibration can be seen in beer-filled glasses as Reed explains each brew. Glasses are raised, not in toasts, but for a scrutiny of color and head. It's Friday evening and the cruise officially opens Sagamore's 2016 edition of the Black Fly Beer Camp. As the Durant quietly turns east into the largest natural lake in the Adirondacks, the party moves below to the dining deck where a five-course dinner prepared by Culinary Institute of America chef Jim Phol is served. From the cheese and crackers accompanied by a Flanders Red to the Chocolate pots de crème with Barkeater truffles paired with Belgian Tripel, brief descrip- tions meet approving nods and fuel the conversation. Many people may be surprised by the sensitivities inherent in beer pairing but this collection of "campers" takes it all in stride as they anticipates a jam-packed weekend agenda. First thing Saturday morning, campers crowd into the Sagamore's Play- house. In a short tutorial, John Carr introduces the history of Belgian beer-making, noting that while Belgian beers are among the world's best known, most people still don't recognize many styles of Belgian suds. In the darkened room, to allow for John's audio visuals, tiny plastic cups are raised for even tinier tastings of the day's first samplings. After a short break, it's time to familiarize enthusiastic amateur beer brewers with some of the many flavors in beer. "One of the challenges created by the recent craft beer craze," says Carr, "is how difficult it is for amateur drinkers to understand and de- scribe what they like about their favorites." This mid-morning session clarifies the general terms and tastes of different styles. "We want people to go home with a better understanding what kind of beer they want at any given time," he says. Okay, that helps the beer drinker, but what about the home brewer? Rest easy. Rich, joined by Good Nature Brewing co-own- er Matt Whalen, have you covered in an early afternoon session designed specifically with the home brewer in mind. It features a more advanced exploration of flavor characteristics. As Matt makes his way around the room, those tiny glasses are raised again and again in search of the specific components to "flavor." W.W. Durant Captain Dean Pohl

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