We hadn’t been here in three years. The faces and location were the same but, as expected, the beers are always changing. The group responsible for ramping up our love of the craft beer community was holding it’s monthly meeting and we were ready to catch up with the Lawrence Home Brewer’s Guild. These people are the reason that I still look up home brewers groups in the new cities we travel to. So now we were back and had brought some of our treasures from the road.
A typical meeting goes something like this: bring some beers, drink some beers, eat some snacks, talk about beer and home brewing, tasting sesssion of a particular style, drink some more beer, talk about beer some more, clean up, go home. Being that this is a group based on home brewing a lot of the sampling beers are typically home brews. Since we didn’t have any home brew we brought bottles from our cellar that you can’t get in Kansas.
Our line up included:
- SUE Smoked Porter (Yazoo Brewing | Nashville, TN)
- Hop Art IPA (COAST Brewing | Charleston, SC)
- Terra Incognita (Boulevard Brewing and Sierra Nevada collaboration | Kansas City, Mo & Chico, CA respectively)
- Sang de la Mer Belgian Saison (Saint Somewhere / Green Room collaboration | Florida)
- Wake N’ Bake Coffee Oatmeal Stout (Terrapin Brewing Co | Athens, GA)
- Heady Topper IPA (Alchemist | Waterbury, VT)
We were especially excited about the Terra Incognita as it was only available to Savor attendees and knew that no one would have tried it even though Boulevard is in their back yard (figuratively speaking of course). It was the first to be opened and I thought it held up pretty well from when we first tried it in June, even though we both agreed it had changed a good amount. No only did everyone enjoy the beer but we learned that Boulevard is actually getting ready to release a large scale batch for the general public. Win!
It turned out that this week there was about a 50/50 split between home brews and commercial brews which included a lot of imperial stouts much to my delight. In between catching up with old friends and sampling their beers we had a blind Kolsch tasting that featured a stunning seven different beers (usually 3-4 are served). It was during these tasting sessions that Maria and I learned a lot of what we know concerning the different beer styles and the reasons they taste the way they do.
We continued catching up after the meeting portion was over and were happy to hear that home brew member, Brick, was going to be taking over head brewing duties at Lawrence’s 23rd Street Brewery. Not only that but another guild member would be taking over the assistant brewer position that he had left open to become the head brewer. It was great to see the success that the guild was having and really showed the knowledge and experience contained in this group.
At the end of the night we went home knowing that we would soon be leaving again and it would be a long time before we attended another meeting. But the knowledge and memories would continue to travel with us and the inspiration to include craft beer in our travels will not be forgotten.