Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's Been How Many Years Since I Graduated? Better Hand Me a Beer.

Saturday I had to grapple with a difficult concept, it's been 25 years since I graduated college.  Stevens Institute of Technology having untold empathy for its alumni, scheduled both a wine tasting and a beer seminar for Alumni Weekend to help them in their transition to dotage.

Last year's wine tasting left me a little parched, so I opted for the beer seminar to celebrate, make that mourn, the fact that it's been 25 years since I was a carefree frat boy.  Well, as carefree as 20 credits and a major league senior project regarding a dual crystal x-ray crystallography  examination of microplastic deformations in 440 stainless steel could be.

I so made the correct choice.  The audience and the presenters were in full on let's have fun mode.  The theme of the seminar was beer made in breweries that are at least as old as Stevens, 140 years.  The main presenter, Neil, was both informative and entertaining.  The host, Dave Manhas, kept everyone in a festive mood with his entertaining banter and his best game show host skills during the trivia question sections.

Everyone was getting into the seminar.  I'm not suggesting that the beer had acted as a social lubricant, but the audience participation did seem to pick up as the event progressed.  We did get to taste a gamut of beers from around the world, representing many of the styles that exist.  My two personal favorites were the Chimay Red and the double chocolate stout. Both were far cries from the usual mass produced domestic beers.  The double chocolate stout could possible recruit a whole new demographic to beer drinking with its chocolate and espresso flavors.

I left the seminar entertained, informed, and a bit relaxed.  I was also toting the new bottle opener I won by answering a trivia question.  If only my undergrad classes here were like this.

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