WHEELING, W.Va. - With images of Oktoberfest dancing in your head, no month conjures up the need to try you hand at brewing beer quite like October.
Taking advantage of this, Oglebay Institute is hosting a combination of beer-themed events the next two weekends.
First up is the Art and Ale Home Brewery Special beer tasting event scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19. It gets under way at 6:30 p.m. at the Stifel Center.
Two of the home brewers featured at Oglebay Institute’s October 19th Art & Ale event are Ted Dodd, left, who will present his Oak Barrel IPA and P.J. McDermott, right, who will present his Irish Red.
Six guest brewers will serve their finest home brews and include Ted Dodd (Oak Barrel IPA), Russell Dunkin (Oatmeal Stout), Dave Cantrell (Pumpkin Chocolate Porter), Chad Remp (Belgian Witbier), Chad Hill (Double IPA) and P.J. McDermott (Irish Red). Beers will be paired with delicious hors d'oeuvres prepared by Ye Olde Alpha.
The tasting event will be followed by a home brew workshop the next weekend for those wishing to further their skills at home brewing or for those wishing to learn a little bit more about the centuries old process.
The workshop runs from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Stifel Center on Saturday, Oct. 27.
"Some of the presenters from the beer tasting will be discussing different stages of the brewing process at the workshop," said Rick Morgan, the director of the Stifel Fine Arts Center. "It will be a demonstrative and informative session and the brewers will be able to answer any questions."
According to McDermott, at least one brewer will be making a full extract batch of beer. That will include showing attendees the process of steeping the specialty grains, boiling the wort extract, adding bitter, flavor and aroma hops, chilling the wort and pitching the yeast.
Another brewer will be making a grain batch, with demonstrations on milling the base and specialty grains, infusing the grains with water, draining and re-infusing the mash, adding hops, chilling the wort and pitching the yeast.
Morgan said it's a great opportunity for anyone interested to come in, look at the process, find out where the brewers obtain their supplies, the types of equipment used and all manners of the process from purchasing the ingredients, racking and all the way through bottling.
These events are a continuation of the various beer tasting events Oglebay Institute hosts periodically throughout the year.
For Morgan, it's opening the drinking public's eyes and taste buds to a whole new world of ales, porters, stouts and lagers that they may have never known about.
Morgan explain they are trying to show that there is an interest in this area for craft brewing. He believes once that happens that let's national and regional beer distributors know that there might be a market for their product, the smaller, more specialty beers and breweries.
It also helps connect amateur brewing hobbyists and the more seasoned brewers in the area, affording them a chance to talk brewing techniques and recipes.
For more information, call (304) 242-6855, visit Oglebay Institute online at www.oionline.com or visit its Facebook page.
Hughes may be reached at email@example.com.