Thursday, June 15, 2006

Beer Tasting

Exterior of Hops Institute

Many months ago, I was invited to dinner with Marta and some of her English students from the Hops company. We had a nice time, and they also invited me to come for a beer tasting at the Hops Institute when the time came. Well, the time came!

Mr. Urban

Dasa: I don't remember her last name, but she is super nice. It was great to see both of them again. We had a good time talking together, and I learned a great deal about beer and hops! I will be some kind of expert when I get home. =)

Zatec Drawing--an early layout of the town.

This is the world's smallest brewery, located in the Hops Institute. They brew beer to test the different hops they breed and cross-breed. Interesting.

Hops, malt, and hop pellets

This wasn't just sitting around drinking beer. It was a bonafide business meeting, and I felt privileged to be invited. There were lectures on different hops issues (not in English) and issues related to beer production and consumption, like health benefits of drinking beer and overuse of alcohol (especially among youth). Germans, apparently, drink the most beer (not the Czechs, as my students say--although maybe they mean per capita and this was overall??) and the Belgians produce the most beer, followed by the USA. Who Knew?? Belgium! Makers of my Hoegaarten. =)

Beer. When tasting, we had to rate which ones we liked best in three categories. Overall flavor, enjoyment of bitterness, and after taste were the categories. Then in the second round, there were two of three that were the same, and we had to see if we could tell the difference. I could! But mostly because of the smell.

When I was in Amsterdam last weekend, I saw one of these on the move in the street. I thought it was pretty cool, but I was too slow to get a picture of it. Imagine my surprise when I saw one here at the Hops Institute! I was told that they saw one on the internet, and then built one of their own. And I got to ride on it. Seats were hard! But it was fun.

The pedals...


The pivo

Joe Cool--check out his nifty vest. It has Hops symbols on it. I really liked it. I can't remember exactly, but there are some special clubs and organizations around beer and hops...Oh! There was a fake article written many years ago as an April Fools joke for the newspaper, but it was printed late (after April 1st), and it said archaeologists had discovered the very first beer drinker, blah blah blah. Well, people believed it. And now, for fun, there is a society dedicated to this first beer drinker. I can't remember his name, but it's pretty funny and they too have uniforms and everything.

It was a nice day, and afterward, I was off to school for afternoon lessons and then to Prague to see Beth and Rigoletto. Busy day!



Blogger Jiři Harajda said...

Yes, they meant per capita and it is true. We are number ONE in the world. Nothing to be proud of but still........

6:13 PM  
Blogger Travelin' Fool said...

Well, Jiri to the rescue. You are number one.

7:48 AM  

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