Believe it or not, Wonderful Beer Wife hasn’t put up a single guest post in nearly four years of brewvana. She’s been a helpful editor over the years, but never a pen slinger–time to remedy that. I embedded her into a Powder Keggers meeting, which took place on Dec. 18. A monthly women’s beer tasting and education meet-up at El Bait Shop in Des Moines, Powder Keggers is just what the doctor ordered to take the beer gospel to the ladies. Here’s Michelle’s report:
This Belgian-themed beer dinner was the perfect time to jump in. It took place on the last shopping weekend before Christmas, and the fact that over 20 women turned out to sample tasty Belgian beers at El Bait Shop impressed me.
Brewmaster Eric Sorensen of Rock bottom-Des Moines was on hand to walk us through our afternoon flight, which ranged from Duvel and Matilda to Pere Jacques and Sorensen’s own Tigerlilly Saison.
Overall, the food and beer pairings were well-thought out. There were seasonal selections like orange-scented carrot soup; pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash soup with walnut and nutmeg; wilted endive, cranberries and sweet potatoes. The choices not only paired nicely with the Belgian beers, but transitioned smoothly from course to course, making it a cohesive experience. The afternoon closed with warm caramelized bananas with a stout reduction paired with Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale–this dish was reminiscent of bananas foster and was quite heavenly.
While Eric enlightened the group on Belgian brewing history, koolschips, IBUs and brettanomyces, there was a mild chatter among the ladies. The background noise at El Bait Shop made it even more challenging to hear. Having attended and co-hosted multiple tastings with my beer geek husband, I started to feel annoyed at the group for not ingesting more of Eric’s teachings.
Upon further reflection, I realized that most of the tastings I’ve attended were male-dominated. Sure, I’ve been there and a few other ladies were there, but mostly they were about guys and brews. We ladies are a different breed. We can appreciate the subtle nuances of a fine Belgian beer and discuss the aroma of Eric’s abbey honey wheat. But at the end of the day, women are connectors. Get a group of 20 or so of us together and we’re going to be a bit chatty. We want to talk about the beer, yes, but also about our day and our family. We are about experiencing life together–this is brewvana for us.
Our apologies, Eric. We really did enjoy your beer and beery wisdom.
The icing on the cake was a bit of a role reversal. As we left El Bait Shop, it was women with men in tow. The guys had been waiting patiently for the ladies–and that sight brought a smile to my face.