Tuesday, March 26, 2019

An Educational Tasting at Fifth Ward Brewing

It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to improve your palate and enhance your appreciation of beer is to develop the ability to identify what's gone wrong in a beer when it's not so good. Here's your chance to acquire that skill.

This Sunday, March 31 and then again on Sunday, April 14, Fifth Ward Brewing in Oshkosh will host off-flavor tasting panels using sensory training kits from the Siebel Institute of Technology. Each of the sessions begins at 5:30 pm and will last approximately two hours. There are just 15 seats available at each session, so you'll need to sign up in advance (at the taproom) to secure a seat. Admission is $15. The taproom will be closed during the sensory panels. Here's how it works...

The panels will be led by Ian Wenger and Zach Clark of Fifth Ward. They'll provide a few ounces of a pale, light-bodied beer that's been spiked with a flavor compound from the Siebel kit. Each spike mimics a common off-flavor found in beer. There'll be 12 rounds in all, each representing a different off flavor. At each of the Sunday tastings, a unique line-up of flavors will be presented.

As the beers are sampled, Clark and Wenger will lead a discussion on the particular flavor and its causes. They'll help you put words to what your tasting so you can identify it in the future. This last part is one of the real benefits of doing this type of training. Being able to identify flavors is something many craft beer drinkers struggle with. It's complicated stuff, but with a little help, it's not all that difficult. If you're a homebrewer, this training can prove invaluable. You can't fix an issue with your beer if you can't identify the problem.

"This is the kind of thing we've been wanting to do for a while," Clark says. "It's a way to help give back to the craft beer community around here. There's a lot of knowledge about beer in this area and we want to encourage that and help support it."

For more information, check out the Facebook event page or stop by the Fifth Ward Taproom and talk to your server.

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