Last night we attended the New Belgium Sour Symposium at The Rickhouse in Durham, NC led by Lauren and Eric Salazar. The description of the event was, “Beer geeks unite for a special evening with Lauren and Eric Salazar, New Belgium Brewing’s wood beer specialists. On Friday, April 17, 2015 in Durham, NC the Salazars will present the third Sour Symposium event of 2015. Each event offers a hands-on opportunity to experience beer making as guests experiment with their own blend, enjoy a pint of New Belgium’s La Folie, and take home a new appreciation of sour beers.” The evening started with Fat Tire and Slow Ride on the patio overlooking the old Durham ballpark and The Rickhouse is a fantastic space. From there we were treated to a selection of charcuterie from Bar Virgile in Durham. Everything on the tray was a treat and I will be visiting them in the very near future.

From there the presentation began while we savored La Folie. The Salazars discussed the New Belgium barrel program and how it has progressed. They also detailed the yeast and bacteria and it was a very interesting presentation. At the end Lauren went over her method for describing the beer in the foeders and we had a chance to blend samples from several foeders to create our on blend. My gripes about the event are few, but I would have like to have seen the guests be provided with bottles of water. It would have been nice if the La Folie had been refreshed during the presentation, as it was we had plenty of beer, but I was dry for a short while without any refreshment. Lastly I would like to see available a smaller measure to mix the blend. As it was we were given a large measuring cup and asked to make an 8 ounce sample which was most of the beers on the table. I would have liked to have seen us first make a one ounce and then step it up to  four or eight. Anyway it was a fun evening and if I do it again I will bring a graduated cylinder and pipette for the blending session. 😉