"Craft beer is about telling stories." And today we heard some great stories from beer sommelier Jerrod Nelsen.
Sandy invited a member of his congregation to share his passion. He will tell you that he has the greatest job ever, and he just might be right. While he works for Anheuser-Busch, he works in the non Anheuser-Busch division, managing more than 40 suppliers (breweries), including products and people. "Everything I do is really, really, really fun," Jerrod said, standing in front of a table of craft beers.
Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding more than 47% of US beer sales to retailers. It's a commodity-based business and they own so many raw goods that they can spread their costs thin across more cans, so it's cheap and easy. Craft beer is a little different. They use real ingredients (and there should be only four ingredients) and it's only 7 or 8% of the market share.
Craft beer drinkers aren't in it for the effect or the quick buzz - instead, they are more likely to be connoisseurs of the taste, the temperature and the experience of the beverage. And that's where Jerrod gets his passion - he's that guy - the guy who can help you understand why the size and shape of the glass matters and how to match the perfect plate to the perfect pale ale.
He has been all about beer since he was 17 and started out stocking grocery stores in Iowa. He eventually moved to Chicago to attend Siebel Institute of Technology. It's the oldest brewery school in America, the second oldest in the world. At 11am every day students were tasked with detecting nuances, perks and problems in 10-15 different styles of beer. He graduated from his own school of hard knocks and lived to tell the tale.
And Jerrod can tell tales. There are rules and ways to make your brewskies taste exquisite. Here are a few:
  • light truly skunks beer, within 30-40 seconds, so hide it in a koozie, behind your menu or even in your hand
  • multiple changes in temperatures affect the taste - NEVER store beer in your garage - NEVER heat it or freeze it
  • by 2020, craft beer could be 20% of the market share
  • Ken Grossman's Sierra Nevada is the pale ale of all pale ales - everyone tries to duplicate it
  • during fermentation, ALE is warmer and takes longer to brew while LAGER is colder and the yeast is bottom fermented
  • poor your beer into room temperature, freshly rinsed glasses
  • glasses hold heat, which affects the flavor
  • there should be a half-inch to an inch head on top of EVERY thing you drink, "that's where the smell is - that's how you become part of the beer"
  • buy beer, drink beer
  • drink beer fresh
  • do not horde your beer
  • darker beer is higher in alcohol content and can last longer
  • IPA = India Pale Ale is the largest segment of craft beer
  • be leery of sales - there's a reason they're trying to get rid of it
  • don't be scared to try something new, just be careful where you buy it
  • pay attention to the best-by dates on beer, just like you would with milk because the longer it sits, the more the flavor changes
And his parting words will be repeated often and forever, "don't over think it - just try it!"
Save the Date:
  • Thursday, March 19 is a Blood Drive at Miami County Medical Center from 3-6:30 - SAVE A LIFE
  • E-Recycling is Saturday, April 4 in the Louisburg Middle School parking lot from 8am- noon
  • The Scholarship Committee will meet in the library conference room on Tuesday, April 7 from noon-1pm
  • The Rotary Social is on Friday, April 10 at Craig & Michelle Holtzen's new home
  • Dining in the County is Friday, April 24
In Other News:
  • Collyn is back
  • the new Louisburg Herald reporter Bethany Sharpton visited the club today