from the President
By Chris White
As president of White Labs, nothing brings me more
satisfaction than seeing brewers making great beer. I especially enjoy
visiting brewers at their facilities or at conferences. There are few
better places to visit, in terms of beer and beer history, than Europe.
Here is a condensed account of a recent trip to
Europe, complete with brewery tours, beer tips and friendly faces.
On May 15, I arrived for the International Congress
of European Brewery Convention in Prague. It was about a 12-hour flight
from San Diego, with stops in between, of course. When I arrived in the
Czech Republic at about 5 p.m., I found the hotel, changed and headed
right for the conference. It was wonderful. They had a nice reception
with a band and about 1,000 attendees. Besides meeting some new friends
from Europe, I encountered brewers from the U.S., including Boulevard
Brewing Co. (Kansas City), Stone Brewing Co. (San Diego), and Sierra
Nevada (Northern California), among others.
The conferences started the next day, and they were
taken very seriously by the beer scientists who presented as well as
attendees such as myself. The yeast discussions were particularly
enlightening, including a presentation by Brian Gibson of Oxford Brookes
University about the stress placed on yeast through oxidation. Gibsonís
research involved examining the DNA of lager yeast.
In all, there were three days of scientific
conferences. More than 800 delegates attended and there were 60
exhibiting companies. On the last day conference attendees visited a
number of Czech breweries, including Budweiser Budvar. (For more on my
visit to Budweiser Budvar, turn to "Style Matters" on Page 1
and read my observations under the category "Yeast Notes.")
The next day, we left for Denmark to visit breweries,
and I gave a seminar in Copenhagen.
A few days later I was back on the plane to the
United States. Everything until this point was wonderful. But going
halfway around the world on a plane can be grueling, as anybody who
takes business trips knows all too well.
Or was it the commotion from the festivals? Itís
okay with me.
I am ready for the next trip.
Chris White is President of White Labs Inc. and is
a chemistry and biochemistry lecturer at the University of California,
San Diego. He has a Ph.D in biochemistry. Contact him at email@example.com