Hip Hops: Blind taste tests are helpful in dispensing with visual beer adulation

Hip Hops: Blind taste tests are helpful in dispensing with visual beer adulation

I was dining on pastitsio and kebabs at the estimable Beer Time pub in Athens (cover photo), and washing them down with a selection of Greek craft beer, when it suddenly occurred to me that twenty years ago I passed the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) test.

This milestone was attained much to the shock and consternation of those helping to administer the exam locally, as it included hefty components of brewing science and chemistry, which everyone knows I’ve always joyfully neglected in favor of telling stories about finding a clean, well-lighted pub somewhere in Belgium where the owner disappeared into a cellar and emerged covered with cobwebs and holding a bottle of decade-old mead.

(It really happened, and the mead was outstanding.)

But science and chemistry? Me? Nah, I’d rather bale hay in high summer the old-school way, plunge knitting needles into my eyes, and then trundle off to dine at Ronnie Mac’s.

The odds against me were daunting, so how on earth did I manage to pass the BJCP test?

Most importantly, I was almost perfect on the questions about beer styles and history. Then, when I saw those impossible science and chemistry questions, I just ignored them and kept on...Read more