Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Barley's Beer School with Pauwels and Kins

Please read through all of this to pick up any Boulevard sneak peeks...

Usually I stay away from promoting commercial material on my blog, but I had a great time at Barley's Brewhouse yesterday that I highly suggest signing up for the next event. I will keep everyone posted on the next Beer School. I went to the first event a few weeks ago where Free State brewery from Lawrence spoke about their beers and the technical process of each brew. It was good, but there were so many people there and it was hard to hear. This time they got it right by setting up a p.a. system and toning down the crowd. And for $10 what you get was amazing. The first event was only $5 so you're not going to be breaking your wallet here. It was a little disheartening that I had to miss out on the Founders' tasting at Flying Saucer, but kcworthog was able to go get the scoop over there.

A big thank you to Jake and Mark for donating to my September Drought. I did not pay a penny for all of the beer and food for the night. Also thank you to Randyl and KC Hopps for organizing such events.

The hosts were Steven Pauwels (master brewer at Boulevard) and Carl Kins (International Beer Judge and all around a great beer geek). Also Jeremy and Dustin (brewers from Blvd) came and sat at our table so there was a brewer overload going on. Both guys are from Belgium and the focus was around Belgian beers so I knew I was in for a treat. It was fantastic to hear Carl explain the map of Belgium and get the history of the country instead of diving right into the beer. Before the event started I got myself an Odell IPA which, to me, is an incredible version of that style. Then it was the following for tastings:
1st - Duvel
2nd - La Chouffe
3rd - Urthel Hop-it
4th - Orval
5th - Matilda
6th - Saison-Brett
7th - Sixth Glass
8th - La Folie
First of all, that is a ridiculous line up of decent sized tastings for $10. Second, I was not expecting this and what was to follow. Steven and Carl continued to switch off by explaining the beers and stories that followed them. Also explaining that Jean-Marie Rock from Orval was going to join Steven for the next Beer School at Barley's. Now why would he be coming from Belgium and leaving his Trappist Orval brewery? Well because he's doing a collaboration brew with Steven to be released under Boulevard's name. Man I hope they call this "Rock On Collaboration". I learned this the other day but didn't want to give too much away until Steven announced himself. After the tasting ended I was quite hungry and Markbe, follower of my blog, met up with me and offered me a beer. So we sat down and ordered some food and Tank 7 only to be joined at our table by Steven and Carl. Steven was happy to see we ordered some of his Tank 7 and went to explain that it will be bottled (and I assume) that will replace the Saison. Steven ordered some Seeyoulator and some more Tank 7 along with food so we all were doing 'pretty well' by the end of the evening. We talked about the Wheatwine "Harvest Dance" that will be coming out very soon. I tried the other version of the Wheatwine that had been aged in chardonnay and pinot and liked it very much. We also discussed the smokestack series being packaged in a 4 pack of 330 ml bottles which I had also learned earlier. Now something I can take to lunch at work... kidding.


Anonymous said...

I think somewhere in there we had Matilda from Goose Island as well. Definitely worth $10 dollars. My favorite had to be La Folie, the first sip was like, "What the..." and then pretty soon I was craving more. If Steven and Jean-Marie Rock are going to be doing the next, will it be another round of Belgian beers? Or maybe several different ages of Orval. Regardless it will probably be awesome.

KC Hop Head said...

Good point, anonymous. I added Matilda to the long list of brews. I don't know or care what the next beer school will be about, but count me in.

Anonymous said...

You "discussed" the Smokestack Series being packaged in 4-packs? Is that something they are definetely moving towards? You've gotta' give us more info; that is tantalizing stuff.

KC Hop Head said...

I wouldn't have mentioned it until I heard it from more than one person at the brewery. I know that they are in search of some unique packaging. Seems like nothing is definite from a brewery. They work towards something and if it doesn't work out when rumors slip out then it's not their fault. But I know they're working towards it and that's all I know.