"In Defense of Beer"
This month column was written by Bob's friend and home brewer
Peter J. Paffgen                          

I recently had a discussion with a wine sommelier about the similar
program for beer offered by
Cicerone.  Not having heard of the
program he immediately dismissed it with a condensing "after all, it's
only about beer". I'll spare you the rest of his rant but trust me, it
wasn't pretty.  I have chosen to respond to him here, in this forum.  
So, thanks to my friend Bob Montemurro for not only giving me this
chance to write this month's column but also for a few thoughts of his
own to chastise my wine loving acquaintance.

Dear (name omitted to protect the guilty) -

There are more ingredients in a bottle of beer than a glass of wine.
This creates a more complex flavor with each drink of beer than of
wine. Wine primarily consists of two ingredients, grapes and yeast
(for fermentation). Beer, on the other hand, consists of several base
ingredients such as barley, hops, yeast, and water. Beyond this the
list of ingredients is limited only by the brewer’s imagination.

There is a greater range of color available within the world of beer
than that of wine. In fact, beer color ranges from a pale straw to
black, with a myriad of colors in between. This is extremely important
because we humans rely on visual stimuli to rate quality and
perceived taste. This is why beer should always be poured into a
glass, rather than consumed from a bottle.

Wine makers have it easy; they are limited by their own profession
to creating what has already been created. Creating a fine wine is a
standard, not an art. Beer brewers are challenged to create new and
interesting beers that will capture the hearts of beer drinkers around
the world.

Brewers are able to use any ingredients they so desire; wine makers
are limited to certain types of grapes and yeast to yield their
product. Brewers are allowed to take risks that wine makers are not
afforded. Beers have been brewed with fruit, peppers, wheat, and
chocolate. Some beers require the addition of hops or fruit during
the fermentation process; the brewer must have perfect timing to pull
off such an addition or the entire brew will be destroyed.

Wine is typically restricted to an ABV of 10 to 15 percent, while beer
has a wider range. Beer can range in ABV from 3 to 25 percent, or
even greater.

Lastly, the brewer takes full responsibility if something is wrong with
the product.  The buck, or in this case the hops, stops with him. The
vintner can simply say it was a bad year for the grapes so blame
Mother Nature, not him.

So there you have it.  Time for another beer and in the sake of
harmony a wine to follow.  

BeerNexus proudly presents

Bob Montemurro
"the ombudsman of beer"

Bob and Friends Speak of Beer......
My thanks to Pete Paffgan for this
month's column.  See you next time to
"speak about beer".
Bob Montemurro
Bob and Friends
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