Flat Tire

Friday, February 19, 2010

No, not FAT Tire from New Belgium brewing company in Colorado.

No, I mean a FLAT tire. I blew a flat tire, metaphorically.

Yesterday morning, I lifted a cup of coffee to my lips, ignored all the warning signs, and apparently cooked my tongue in boiling liquid. Then, to make matters worse, while eating a beautiful bowl of soup for lunch...the same thing happened. My tongue nearly became a part of the soup.

The end result: my tongue is so burned, so scalded, that I can't taste anything but salt or overpowering amounts of sugar. I tried a beautiful bottle of Arcadia's Cocoa Loco yesterday evening for today's review, and for all I could taste of it the review would have read: tastes of air, wetness and foam.

According to some friends in the medical profession, it will take 4 or 5 days before my tongue is healed enough for my tastebuds to function. So no beer review for you today.

That said, I want to draw your attention to one of the greatest tools of the beer judging and tasting profession: The Beer Judge Certification Program. This is the "secret" website chock-full of beer knowledge to prepare mere novice beer drinkers for entry into judging. And it keep judges apprised of new styles, new expectations and growth in the beer industry.

The crown jewel of this web site, though, are the biannually-reviewed Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guidelines. This is the document judges use to judge beer. It has every style category, what each beer should look, smell, taste and "feel" like, and...here's the bonus...it provides commercial examples available on the market for every style.

These guidelines were developed to make beer judging fair. I look at it this way: I am not a fan of "Light Hybrid Beers" or "Pilsner." They bore me. But there is a chance, every time I judge, that I will have to judge those beers. I need a set of guidelines, then, for me to fairly compare and contrast beers that I honestly don't enjoy much; it doesn't work for me to fill out a scoresheet with the word "HATE" scrawled in huge letters for a brewer who tried hard on a beer and is proud of his or her submission.

The guidelines are used for the opposite as well; there are two beers that are everything you've ever dreamed of. How do you separate them? How do you pick a winner? Use the guidelines.

Check out the web site. But more importantly, check out the guidelines. It's a .PDF that allows you to go directly to the beer style in question simply by clicking on its category in the table of contents. It will help paint a picture of just how many beer styles are out there, and it will enlighten you, as it does to me every time I open them, as to how beers should be. And best of all, it gives you beers to go out and buy and try if a style sounds interesting.

Best I can do with a Flat tire.

6 comments:

Bob 9:22 AM  

Why beer is better than coffee:
Beer won't burn your mouth.

Are you suing Beaners...er Bigby?

Smitty 9:31 AM  

I am suing the office whose coffee pot warmer is set at 27,000,000° F. My tongue is now a singularity.

Monk-in-Training 1:36 PM  

Perhaps a quick invocation to Our Lady of Ambrosial Finesse could restore your abilities? ;)

Seriously I hope you are ok soon!

Da mihi sis cerevisiam dilutam

Smitty 1:55 PM  

I have to Google your salutations every time you post, Monk. I appreciate the crash course in Latin!

I will, of course, drink beer this weekend. I'll just pick styles I am not worried about tasting!

Anonymous,  4:05 PM  

WTF? Censorship?

Smitty 4:16 PM  

Sorry, anonymous...

I mistook an earlier comment for Spam, FORGETTING I put the spam-killing random word verification thing up...

My bad. Very very sorry.

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