Breweries: You Owe It To Your Drinkers…

“You owe it to your drinkers to put the ABV [of your beers] clear and obviously on the labels and menus.”

Dr. Lewis (r)

Dr. Lewis (r)

These wise and business savvy and responsibly focused words came from the venerable Dr. Michael Lewis at the 2013 Craft Brewers Conference. Every year I make it a point to see Dr. Lewis’ talk at the CBC. He speaks plainly and with no pretense with full regard and respect for the beer first.

Dr. Lewis is the longest standing professor of beer in America, now Professor Emeritus at UC Davis. I’ve had the distinct pleasure to getting to know him a bit and look forward to more opportunities to do so.

A true gentleman, like Nick Matt by the way, and always stays the course of quality. “Honor your product, he says – serve it in proper glassware. I’d agree. Common sense does not necessarily mean good sense. Indeed – I’d agree again. Because if it were truly common sense we’d all have it – and clearly we all don’t.

Cheers to Dr. Lewis today – A highly valued beer community member and rightly so. Or as he’d say: Lechyd-da!

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CAMFA Series #5: Alcohol

We’ve been digging into the concept of CAMFA, an educational tool developed by Women Enjoying Beer to teach some beer enjoyment basics. Today we’re on the last letter: A

CAMFA C = Color, A = Aroma, M = Mouthfeel, F = Flavor, A = Alcohol

The alcohol in beer is the product of the brewing process wherein alcohol and CO2 are the result or fermentation. Brewers determine, within their recipe making, what resultant alcohol content they are aiming for. And while brewing certainly is a science, it’s equally art and the final outcome may or may not be as precise as they desire. Beer is a living organism and brewers are excellent manipulators of the wort and beer to get the results they desire.

The alcohol content of beer is commonly referenced as ABV, or Alcohol By Volume. It’s familiar to many and you should be able to find it in all beer labeling. If the beer you get or serve comes from a cask or keg, the staff of the dispensing body should absolutely know what the ABV is. It’s a responsibility factor for both the serving or selling party and the consuming party. Equal onus here, folks.

Alcohol is the reason some people drink, and in moderation, that’s acceptable. Hopefully more people than not partake because of all the other wonderful reasons there are to drink beer: camaraderie, education, entertainment, support, and curiosity.

Beer is the result of an extraordinary investment. Of resources in people, time, equipment, supplies, money, and passion. Enjoying it responsibly reflects the respect you also hold for it while simultaneously recognizing the investment of the brewer/y.

Cheers to all parts of CAMFA: Color, Aroma, Mouthfeel, Flavor and Alcohol. Cheers to the brewers round the world who allow us to partake of this universal beverage.

CAMFA Series #1: Color

CAMFA Series #2: Aroma

CAMFA Series #3: Mouthfeel

CAMFA Series #4: Flavor

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