Saturday, September 28, 2013

Taylor Brush on Tap

His goofy grin, wisps of unmanaged curls, and curious nature might have you mistake him for an absent minded professor.  While he may not hold a doctorate degree, he does profess a love for the libation that is synonymous with Belgium, beer.   If you’re looking to brush up on your local beer knowledge, let me introduce you to an expert, Taylor Brush.

To say Mr. Brush is passionate about Belgian beer is an understatement.   He fondly remembers fishing with his dad on the lakes in South Carolina and being introduced to Yuengling beer (Yuengling & Sons is the oldest operating brewery in the US).  As time progressed, his college years not only educated his mind, but his palate as well.  With a nostalgic grin and a slight southern drawl he likes to reminisce about his early appreciation of Bass Ale while his college friends were cradling the cheaper, more readily available Milwaukee’s Best.  His taste buds matured over the years, but one thing has remained constant, his passion in attempting to understand the complexity and history in each beer.

 It would take moving to Belgium for him to truly begin to understand just how complex and unique Belgian beer can be.   Crossing an ocean not only gave him a new stamp on his passport, but he also gained an introduction and stamp of approval from notable beer expert and author Tim Webb.   Mr. Webb has published numerous award winning books on Belgian beer and was even asked one year to be an official taster of Westvleteren. These two creative minds teamed up a few years ago and created a documentary, “Beer Amongst the Belgians”.  If you love history and beer, this is utopia!  It provides insight into the communities and individuals that have passed down centuries of time honored traditions.  Along the way of discovering what makes Belgian beer unlike any other, it also weaves through the humanity behind your honey, amber, or chocolate hued beverage.  After viewing you’ll have a better understanding of the Belgian people.  Not unlike a good Belgian beer, the documentary will have you salivating for more (additional episodes are in the works!).

On three occasions I’ve experienced a beer tasting hosted by Mr. Brush.  Each tasting is tailored and unique. The host does a nice job taking into consideration your tastes and interest. In addition to sipping 10-12 different Belgian ales, you’re also given a personalized flier that summarizes each of the beers on tap.  This added touch is considerate while also informative.  If you’re looking for an extra special evening, you can also hire Mr. Brush to pair beers with a three course dinner prepared with beer from the tasting menu.  He cooks everything at his home, then brings and serves it to you and your guests.   Last year for my husband’s birthday I surprised him with both the meal and pairing. The flavorful steamed clams, chicken waterzooi, and dark chocolate mousse still linger.  As if the beer tasting, food, and Taylor’s passion for Belgian beer weren’t enough, he even provides and brings home most of the dishes!