I like a drink. Be that a cup of tea or coffee or an alcoholic drink (depends on the situation). I’m very partial to red wine (a strong flavoured, tannic, spicy Italian), a champagne, cocktails, craft beers, and gin. Definitely Craft Beers and Gin.
As well as enjoying a drink, I also like to learn. Learn what I like and don’t.
What works and doesn’t.
What kind of cocktails I like (spicy, dark, heady or sour, smoky, salty – definitely nothing sweet).
What beers I like (Pale Ale, Stout, Sour).
That in turn then sparks the questions in my mind
How are they made?
What are the ingredients?
What makes them different from others of the same kind/category?
Tours and tuition
So I have in the past done brewery tours (in the UK, Ireland, Belgium), vineyard tours (in the UK, Europe, US) and Rum distillery’s (Caribbean). But my main reason for doing them was for fun (and maybe to get a little drunk).
Many of them had the same focus. Talk through the process, discuss mainly machinery, rooms, progression of process, then route to market (bottle, can, cask, keg).
But things started to change a few years ago. I did a vineyard tour (Stanlake Park) where it was informative, I learned the process, but also I learned what makes their wines different to others. Why they had chosen the varietals of grape etc.
Recently I have done two brewery tours (Double Barrelled, Siren Craft Brew). Both of which (in addition to the process) explained their story, why they do what they do, what their choice of beers say of them, how they reflect their choices and personalities, how they choose names.
Yesterday I went to a Gin distillery (Bombay Sapphire) and learned the story, the naming of the stills, the regeneration of the site, size and scale of business and process.
I have more brewery tours booked in the coming weeks. Deliberately I have not reviewed or discussed in detail the tours. This is because I enjoyed them all. All were informative. All had good tastings (and some tap rooms) at the end.
So I recommend that you go visit, have a tour, have a tasting. Enjoy yourself and learn more. Can there be a more fun way to learn?