TEACHING ABOUT

ALL THINGS BEER

Our vision

Why do we put a focus on educating our entire staff ranging from our janitor to our Corporate levels about beer? Because we believe understanding what you’re selling, drinking and managing fuels a spirit of zeal and intensity.

100%

EMPLOYEES ARE CERTIFIED BEER SERVERS

13

total CERTIFIED CICERONES

15

rhb NC craft brands

38

craft brands total

Fields of expertise

Monthly Craft Meetings

We conduct monthly craft meetings where 1-2 breweries come to present themselves to our employees. We take an hour to learn each brewery’s history, any upcoming news and sample their products to keep them fresh in our minds.

Cicerone Classes

We firmly believe that teaching up-to-date, accurate facts is crucial to create a proper knowledge base for our staff, accounts and neighboring beer lovers. We teach both Level 1 & Level 2 classes, provide samples, off-flavor kits and even host the Level 2 Certified Cicerone exams at our facilities.

Beer School

We created the RHB Brew School in 2014 after purchasing our 15 gallon brewery. We use this educational brewery during our Cicerone classes and also invite community groups such as our local home brew organizations and the Pink Boots Society to come and spend the day brewing.

Mobile Brew School

In 2016 we created our mobile brew school which allows us to brew on a smaller scale at any of our branches. We focus on brewing with warehouse and sales teams so that every employee has an opprotunity to observe the process up close.

Home Brewing

There is no better way to learn to home brew than to do it yourself. The best part is that as a company, we did not even need to advertise this fact. Both our beer and wine companies are filled with home brewers because they have a strong passion for it.

UBrew Home Brew Competition

In 2015 we started our in-house home brew competitions for our employees. In 2018 we decided to take it up a notch and host the Triad’s first home brew festival where home brewers in surrounding cities could come and compete for the grand prize.

Liquid Focus

There is a lot that goes into creating our favorite beers. THESE are a few of the main focal areas that shape the flavor, color and ABV of each beer.

MILLING If using a malt extract (the grain is already precooked for you into a syrup form) you can skip straight to the Boiling step. If using all grain, you must mill (or crush) the barley to prepare it for starch conversion.

MASHING You then add the crushed, dry grain to the Mash Tun that contains hot water. You then let it “cook” for roughly an hour in order to extract sugars from the starches. The hot liquid is now a sweet liquid called wort. 

LAUTERING The hot wort is then drained from the bottom of the Mash Tun and recycled onto the top of the wort in order to drain as much of the remaining sugars as possible.

BOILING You then raise the temperature of the wort to a boil and this is where hops are added for bitterness, flavor and aroma. Hops are necessary to balance out the overly sweet malt flavors in the wort.

WHIRLPOOL The whirlpool is used to clarify the solution by separating out protein and hop particles.

COOLING The wort is rapidly cooled in order to reach proper fermentation temperatures. If the yeast is added when the wort is too hot, it can reduce the yeast’s effectiveness.

FERMENTATION Now that the wort is cooled, the yeast can be added. The yeast is used to convert the sugars that were derived from the initial starches to Carbon Dioxide and alcohol. Ales should be fermented at temperatures around 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly two weeks and Lagers chilled at cooler temperatures around 45-55 degrees for about 4 weeks.

PACKAGING After the beer has fully matured, you then get to choose how you would like to package it. Popular choices are kegs, bottles & cans.

There are over 100 different beer styles in the world. Each with its own unique history and characteristics. These defined styles help consumers know what type of beer they are about to consume/brew and the proper expectations taste-wise.

The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) has written an extremely detailed compilation of all recognized beer styles. This is an exceptionally helpful reference for learning beers for consumption, judging or brewing.

Every beer has a set of specific statistics to make it uniquely qualified for its beer style category.

Standard Reference Method: The SRM is used to identiry color of the beer’s body.

International Bittering Units: IBU’s are used to measure the bitterness of a beer.

Alcohol By Volume: ABV is used to measure the amount of ethanol alcohol contained in a beer.

Original Gravity/Final Gravity: Original Gravity (OG) measures the amount of fermentable sugars in the wort before yeast is added. Final Gravity (FG) measures how much of the sugars were consumed by the yeast after fermentation.

Handle With Care

Now that the beer has been brewed and packaged, we can set into motion the three P’s: achieve the perfect Pour through Proper storage and Pairing your beer with its ideal dish.

There is the science behind properly pouring a beer whether it is from a faucet or straight out of the package. The majority of beers should be poured so that a 1-2 inch head is created for aroma’s to suitably dispense.

1) Tilt the glass at a 45 degree angle

2) Begin pouring the beer into the glass

3) At the halfway point, tilt the glass upright back to a 90 degree angle

4) Continue pouring straight down the middle of the glass

Cheers!

-Store beer at proper temperatures
-Make sure sunlight can not reach your exposed packaged beer to prevent skunking
-Clean your lines every 2 weeks or between each keg
-Use proper glassware that matches the style being served
-Check for beer-clean glassware
-Pour higher ABV beers in smaller glassware
-Ask if the customer would like the residual yeast from a wheat beer included in their glass
-Use frosted glassware (this prevents a proper sized head from developing and minimizes the amount of aroma’s that the head should disperse)
-Dip the faucet into the beer being poured (creates an excellent environment for bacteria)
-Allow excess beer to flow out of the glass while pouring from a faucet in order to minimize head to fill the glass all the way to the top (1-2 inches of head is crucial)
-Over serve your customers

Complimentary

Pair similar flavors between the food and beer.
Ex. A sweet, malty ESB pairs well with a rich pulled pork dish.
Ex. A tart, fruity Framboise compliments the umami flavors of a cherry covered cheesecake

Contrast

Use the strengths of each element against each other to form agreeable flavors.
Ex. A strong, high octane Doppelbock will cut the spiciness of a hot curry dish

Cleanse

Using beer elements such as carbonation, bitterness and sweetness to cleanse the palate from the dish.
Ex. A highly carbonated Saison will cut the richness of a creamy Camembert cheese

**Remember to serve your dishes from lightest flavors to strongest and never serve an IPA with a spicy dish. The hop bitterness only accentuates the spiciness of the food (unless you like breathing fire).

CERTIFIED CICERONE CLASS

We teach a 6 month course that meets every two weeks. This is an extremely tough course but will help you prepare for taking the Certified Cicerone exam. Space is very limited so if you are interested in attending please contact us below. You must be able to attend each class and plan on studying everyday during the 6 months outside of class.