I was at BeerQuest yesterday. It is a great event put on by Lazlo's in Lincoln, NE. Lazlo's uses BeerQuest to choose their seasonals. They invite local all grain home-brewers to make a beer based on a special criteria. The winner gets to have their beer brewed as a seasonal beer. This time it was "hoppy" beers.
Anyway, after tasting all of the beers I was sitting down talking to some of the participants including the brewer who won the last BeerQuest. I had sampled his beer at BeerQuest, and then later on at the brewpub, brewed by the professional staff at Lazlo's.
I mentioned that I had sampled his beer, an Irish Export Stout, both in the pub and at BeerQuest, and he asked me if I detected any difference in the beer from when he brewed it to when the pros did it. I said that I did notice a difference. First off, he used carbon dioxide to carbonate his beer, and Lazlo's used nitrogen. That was the easy one, then I said that I thought that he had a deeper chocolate malt taste, and that I didn't taste any plumb in the Lazlo's brew. He looked at me for a second then asked:
"Are you a brewer?"
My heart skipped, and I giggled like a little school girl. Not like one of those cool schoolgirls that look like they are 25 when they are 10. We are talking giggling like a Japanese school girl talking about J-Pop stars with her friends at lunch time at school. (If you have never heard this you need to get to Japan. It is something everyone should experience before they die. These girls know how to giggle!!!!!)
It was good to hear that my tasting palate was up to snuff...