Jimmy brought three beers with him to taste, an imperial stout, a Japanese pear cider and a kvass, a Russian bread beer. All were excellent, but the kvass had the added aspect of being relatively rare. This is not to say that everyone is making Japanese pear cider, but cider, generally, is something with which the layman is familiar. Kvass is a little more esoteric. A full-bodied but low alcohol beer, bread is substituted for some of the grains. Jimmy used rye and there was some hint of it in the beer. Mostly, it tasted a lot like I remember beer tasting to me when I was a little kid, pleasantly bitter but also a little spicy. If you're a homebrewer, Jimmy talks a little about the recipes he used as references to build this beer on his own.
We also spoke a little about the club's history. As it turns out, my cohost, Doug Griffith, was one of the founders of the group back when +Dogfish Head Craft Brewery first started. It was one of the few restaurants in the resort to make a go at year-round operations, and having homebrewers in for dinner once a month turned out to be a positive thing.
If you're interested in homebrewing and live in the area, Doug will be offering a beginner's course 2-4 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 19 at Xtreme Brewing. There's more on that below. He's also going to be holding an advanced course that will include yeast propagation tips and tricks, among other things. It's for people who have brewed at least a few batches.
If you're interested in being the next call-in guest on the show (we've solved that problem) or you'd like to come in and share a beer with us, email me here, or message me on +State of the Beer. The show's Facebook page is Beer with Strangers and we're "@beerwstrangers" on Twitter.
Finally, and please, consider subscribing on iTunes'cause that way Apple will remind you to listen (your iTunes window will open, don't be afraid).
If you are or know anyone who is interested in taking a brewing basics class (the class is free and lots of fun) have them reserve a space here. Taking a class is the best way to figure out whether homebrewing is for you. Many people take several before trying on their own at home.