Sunday, January 4, 2015

Beer School: Learning the beer you drink

The Beer Board at Brew in Chesterfield VA
There’s a “gastropub” in Chesterfield VA that specializes in beer; imagine that! It’s not a craft brewery, but you may think of it that way. It’s not a microbrewery, but it offers lots of different beers, all craft beers from all over the USA and points beyond. It’s been so popular that the owners have opened a second location in Midlothian VA with a kitchen larger than the original gastropub and with 70 beers on tap, more than double what’s offered in Chesterfield. Welcome, as Guy Fieri would say, to Brew.

While the beer selections are better than the food options, what’s really unique, as far as known by anyone, Brew has Beer School every Saturday at 4 in the afternoon. The bartender with the most distinct and commanding voice gains everyone’s attention. With one person or with every seat filled, the patrons grow quiet while another bartender distributes samples of beer, selected by the bartender who, prior to tasting, offers interesting commentary about the beer.

It’s entertaining. There are four of five samples, maybe a couple of ounces each, just enough to get you interested, sort of like a wine tasting, but better because it’s beer and there’s no charge. After each beer sample, the bartender asks who likes and dislikes the beer and tries to involve as many customers as possible. “Who disliked it?” he asked. One young man raised his hand and said, “It doesn’t taste like beer.” The bartender replied that no one really knows what beer should taste like and that he enjoys beer with fruit brewed in the beer but not beer with fruit—a lime or an orange—added after opening. Good bartender!

Brew, original location, is at 6525 Centralia Road, Chesterfield, VA. The newest Brew is at 11400 West Huguenot Road, Midlothian, VA. There are just a few TV screens in either spot. It’s a place to enjoy and learn about craft beer of all styles and tastes. For a fun outing with Beer School, visit either Brew. Hotel accommodations are nearby.  So, as asked there, “What’s Your Brew?”
-------------------- word of the day
gleed (noun) [gleed]: a glowing coal

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