01/06/2015: Brewing with Gustavus Cantor Dr. Chad Winterfeldt

Posted on January 6th, 2015 by

IMG_1931As a class activity today, Chad Winterfeldt was kind enough to teach us a bit about traditional German, English, and Irish beer brewing. It was definitely a great experience to see firsthand how beer is made, and it was even better to be able to connect these beers to a few of the countries we will be visiting.

During our trip, we will be spending some time in Dublin, Ireland, globally famous for its beer. Ireland is very famous for Guinness, central to Dublin and Ireland’s heritage. Guinness Stout is made from four ingredients- water, barley, hops, and yeast. As part of a “webquest” assignment, we learned that there are specific steps to take when pouring and drinking a Guinness beer in order to get the perfect experience.

IMG_1924During our trip we will be traveling to three different cities in Germany: Berlin, Wittenberg and Nuremberg. In total, there are approximately 1,300 breweries in Germany producing over 5,000 brands of beer. While doing our web quest assignment we learned that Germans consume 106.1 liters per capita of beer annually. I think it is safe to say that Germany is known for its beer.IMG_1905

Although we will not be traveling to Munich, a city in Germany, it is known for the largest “beer fest” in the world. Oktoberfest is the world’s largest funfair held annually in Munich. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. While researching this festival we came across an interesting fact; only beer brewed within the city limits of Munich are allowed to be served at Oktoberfest. During this search we were also introduced to a beer that is only brewed in Berlin. It is called Berliner Wiesse that is a cloudy, sour, wheat beer. Berliner Weisse is typically served in a bowl-shaped glass with flavored syrups, such as raspberry. The beer may also be mixed with other drinks, such as pale lager, in order to balance the sourness. Although the sourness has scared me off a little bit I am looking forward to try this traditional beer of Berlin.

IMG_1911We learned that Beer has been drank in Europe for many centuries. Originally it was so popular because it included purification in the brewing process which was much healthier than the rivers which were dumping points for sewage and waste. I was amazed that Chad Winterfeldt taught us about how the simple ingredients can make an endless variety of tastes depending on the timing of the brewing steps.

IMG_1919English has had a long history with brewing and is most commonly known for its top fermented cask beers. Common types of English beers include bitter, mild, brown ale, and old ales. Stout, porter and pale ale beers were also originally from London and continue in popularity to this day.




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