My personal view has been throughout to find myself where I knew I would have a chance to talk to the people involved with the breweries represented, if not the brewers then at least their ambassadors. At times it may have been little more than a passing moment as I needed to rush off to a different location (sometimes clear across town). These past 6 days for me have been no less than a marathon (don't worry, if you have missed other parts this week there are still a couple more days of beer week left).
There have been a few moments over this past week where I have had the opportunity to spend some time catching up with those I have known in the past and meeting new friends that I hope to run into again. As always it is Kalamazoo Beer Week, you never know what might happen (this is gonna catch on I just know it).
|Although this is Central City Taphouse, we have here |
Ben and Trevor from Paw Paw and Russ from Right Brain
|Jarred Sper Perrin Brewery|
As an added bonus, Andrew Van Til from Imperial Beverage showed up and spent time at the table. Andrew has the distinction of being not only the very first Master Cicerone but also one out of only 6 who currently hold that title. You don't very often get an opportunity to talk candidly with a Master Cicerone about the testing and what it takes to reach that level.
The craziness of beer week brought in another great conversation. At a point when I ran into rick from Brewery Vivant I found Kristopher Malling from Cowslip Creamery. Earlier this year they had made a cheese, similar to a tellegio that was aged with a wash of Solitude from Brewery Vivant. The cheese was amazing and of course went amazingly well with Solitude.
This of course, was a great opportunity to not only talk about fermentation as it pertains to cheese but also some of the trials and tribulations involved with cheese making. Brewery Vivant's French and Belgian style beers are such a perfect fit with other french staples like great cheeses.
This really sums up times like beer week for me. It is a chance to catch the brewers, owners, ambassadors at a time when they are in a space where they can feel comfortable talking about their love of beer and how it has affected their life. There aren't the day to day distractions of work to deal with right there in their faces. When you sit down to have a beer with someone you have having more than just the liquid in the glass. You are sharing a moment that has existed for thousands of years. This is something you will only find at the bottom of the glass when the beer and the conversation leaves you sated.
Some random pictures to carry us through....