source: Michaelle Buskey, Penn. Culinary Institute, Beer & food pairing 4/25/08
Malted barley: take barley, wet it, start to sprout it so the sugars become present, then heat it in a kiln (to different levels, depending on the type of malt you want) to stop it from growing. (that makes it "malted") Can be 2-row or 6-row. 2-row is a bigger kernel, more flavor.
Water: it's harder in England, softer in Germany, harder in Pittsburgh, for example
Yeast: eats sugar, emits alcohol and CO2. There are many types.
Hops: conelike flower, used dry or in pellets, makes beers bitter
Adjuncts (basically, anything else): cheap beers have corn/rice/wheat adjuncts, supposedly to mellow the beer, but really because it's cheaper. Or "adjuncts" can mean specialty ingredients: molasses, honey, fruits, spices, etc.
Lager: bottom-fermented, lighter, crisper, less fruity. Ex. lager, pilsener, bock, marzen/oktoberfest, etc.
Ale: top-fermented, darker, fruitier, more robust. Ex. wheat ale, pale ale, porter, stout, etc.
How to make beer:
Grind malted barley, heat it at 154-156 degrees for a few hours.
Strain it out, you get "wort" (thick, sweet)
Add hops, cook at 212 degrees for 2 hours
Let it cool a bit so you don't kill the yeast, then ferment (add yeast).
Mellow or age it (optional)
Finish: filter it (or not)
Quality check it, bottle it, pasteurize it
Lambics add oats or something or maybe a little fruit to induce secondary fermentation.
To taste a bunch of beers, go light->dark, dry->sweet.
Scent: has two parts, aroma and bouquet. Aroma is from the malt of the toastiness, and bouquet is scent that comes from the fermentation.
Floral- from hops, complex, esp. in pilsener
Fruity- bouquets from fermentation, like ales, stouts, doppelbocks; or aromas from hops, like in citrusy pale ales.
Grassy- from hops, smells "green" or herbal.
Toasty- from malt, especially dark roasted, like in brown ales, stouts, and dark lagers.
Yeasty- complex and bready, sometimes a little fruity, more present in ales than lagers.
Taste: make sure it hits all your taste buds. Examples:
Fruity- light and tart, especially in wheat beers or lambics.
Roasted/malty- from the malt, bready to deep chocolatey.
Spicy/hoppy- from hops, obviously. In pale ales, bitters, porters.
Sweet- some might have residual sugars (not fermented all the way) like barley wines. Or some beers may have sugars added.
Body: consists of weight, texture, alcohol level, carbonation, density.
Light bodied- clean finish after swallowing
Medium bodied- weightier on the palate
Full bodied- rounded mouth-filling, sometimes creamy, often higher alcohol
Temperature: here are approximately appropriate temperatures:
Cold (35-45F): Hefeweizen, pilsener, american lager, amber lager
Cool (45-54F): Stout, porter, pale ale, amber ale
Cellar (54-57F): Bock, IPA, brown ale
Warm (57-61F): Double IPA, doppelbock, barley wine
Flute- narrow, maintains carbonation, showcase bubbles and color, moves bouquet upward. For beer that is light bodied, crisp, floral, fruity.
Goblet- wide bottom, high surface area, to open malt and sweetness of full-bodied beer. Maintains large foam collar while allowing foam-free sips. For beer that is: full bodied, intensely malty, or heavier lagers.
Mug- for a lot of beer. Thick for insulation. For beer that is light bodied, crisp, balanced maltiness, low to medium bitterness.
Pilsener- tall and slender, channels hop aroma to nose. Showcases color and clarity, maintains foam head. For beer that is light-bodied, low in hop bitterness and aroma.
Pint- basic, versatile, for beer that is medium-bodied, fruity, high in hop bitterness and aroma.
Tulip- room to swirl and agitate beer, showcases full body and strong aromas. For beer that is light to medium bodied, mild in malt and hop flavors, wood/barrel aged.
Tumbler- cross between a pint and weiss-shaped, a variety of shapes and sizes, straight or slightly curved, for beer that is low in hop profile, cloudy, fruity, or wheat beers.
Weiss- holds volume and foam head while capturing fruity aromas. Sort of hourglass-shaped. Tall with thin walls to show bright colors. For beer that is low in hop profile, cloudy, fruity, or wheat beers (like tumbler).
Fruit with Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale
Cheese (gouda, cheddar, fontina) with Penn Gold
Spinach ravioli and tomato sauce (or pizza, as long as it's not spicy sausage or pepperoni) with Amarcord Special Lager
Pork sausage with Kasteel Triple
Beef tenderloin and risotto croquette with Penn Oktoberfest and St. Nikolaus Bock Bier
Chocolate brownies with Young's Double Choclate Stout