Archives for posts with tag: Ale


In a day’s work, a brewer performs many tasks: weighing, pouring, recording, stirring, raking, lifting, fork-lifting, squatting, climbing, washing, mopping ….

But by far, the best task of all is tasting. Really. Drinking beer while on the clock is not only a perk of the job, but a necessary and important duty.

Ultimately, all beers are judged by their taste. That’s why brewers consult gauges, test strips and other objective tools to ensure their end product has the right chemical characteristics that will make it taste a certain way. But twenty-first century technology cannot alone earn brewers’ trust. It still comes down to the good ol’ fashioned human olfactory system to make what amount to crucial business decisions. Is this IPA too hoppy? Is there enough nutmeg in the pumpkin ale? Is this batch of the flagship lager consistent with all the previous ones? It’s the tongue that speaks the truth.

And it’s a myth that swallowing is prohibited when tasting beer. Brewers sip their product for the full effect. And from the primo, extra-fermented test batches, they get the flushed cheeks to prove it.

After all, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do when you’re a taste maker.


Thanks to Dylan L’Abbe-Lindquist, Brian Fines and the great people at Cape Ann Brewing Company. Find them at:




Amit Ram reluctantly agreed to become a brewer. His friend had to talk him into it. Amit thought the idea of spending lots of time, energy and money to buy a home brewing kit was ill-advised: it was much cheaper and easier to just go buy a six-pack, he thought.

But he relented. And one batch, one competition, and one first-place prize later, Amit found himself on a plane leaving Tel-Aviv, headed to the United States where he’d find work as an apprentice at a brewery, eventually becoming a full-fledged brewer.

It’s the camaraderie that touched him, he said. To him, the brewing community is unique and is what makes him rise at dawn each morning, don his knee-high rubber boots and get wrist-deep in slimy spent yeast that looks like … well, see for yourself what it looks like.

For Amit, becoming a brewer required an impressive geographical and physical commitment. But he seems to sincerely love what he does for a living, so continues to do what it takes to be a taste maker.


Thanks to Amit Ram and the great people at Cape Ann Brewing Company. Find them at:



Beer is great. It’s thirst quenching, bubbly, warming, features complex tastes, and is just generally enjoyable to drink. Oh, and it also makes your brain release endorphins, which mute pain and turn up pleasure.

Of course, too much of it can kill you. But in moderation, it’s pretty awesome. In fact, behind soda and bottled water, it’s Americans’ third-favorite drink. We’re talking over 5.5 billion gallons of beer made by Americans, sold to Americans in 2011.

Beer’s popular and in high demand, so a growing number of amateur brewers are borrowing some start-up capital and opening their own breweries. They don’t have the automated network of tanks and hoses that the Anheuser-Busch’s of the world have and their product is less consistent because of it. And yet, craft brewers, as they call themselves, do brisk business. The proof is in the growth: as of the beginning of the year, craft brewers enjoyed two consecutive years of 15% increases in sales. This market encouraged the opening of 250 new breweries in 2011 alone.

It’s rewarding work being a taste maker.


Thanks to Brian Fines and the great people at Cape Ann Brewing Company. Find them at: