By Robert Salas
Last week Marble Brewery launched its inaugural effort to engage and educate the public in craft beer knowledge through live sampling with Ted Rice, President and Master Brewer.
There was an overcast and the sun was about to set, which gave the sky a majestic pink-purple hue. Ten beer lovers sat in a circle nestled in a quaint, warmly-lit lounge area. Rice sat at the head of the group, hazy brew sample in-hand and eyes brimming with passion.
As the group swirled and sniffed their tasters of ‘Cot in the App,’ a tart, apricot-infused witbier, Rice began breaking down the brewing process. He explained how tart and sour beers obtain their flavor profile through adding bacteria (lactobacillus or pediocuccus) or, in the case of the Cot in the App, the widely-used yeast, brettanomyces. Check out our article on sour beer!
The curious group asked Rice several questions regarding: types of hops, types of malt, flavor development and beer coloration. As a master of his craft, he replied accordingly. Not all questions were centered on the beer. Some tasters were curious about the business side of brewing. They inquired about keeping up with the growing competition and the perks of owning a brewery. Rice’s responses focused on his passion for craft beer and his love for the team at Marble. So why is community engagement so important for Rice and for Marble?
“These folks are here because they want to learn about beer, they want that interaction.” -Ted Rice
Community engagement is a staple within the craft beer scene in New Mexico. The success of most breweries isn’t only dependent on perfectly brewed beer but also the brewery’s ability to educate their consumer base. When the public understands the brewing processes and how different beers taste, that knowledge naturally spreads throughout the community. Rice agrees with this sentiment.
“It’s one of the ways we can all grow,” Rice said. “Education for me, is really important for sustaining our clientele’s entertainment and bringing in new customers.”
Rice said he truly enjoys educational events like last week’s tasting. Community engagement,for him, isn’t just business. It’s a good time. He said that a current goal of his is to be more engaged with the craft beer community as a whole, including customers and other industry savvy people.
“Iv’e given so many brewery tours, I talk a lot at beer dinners. So this is kind of like second nature for me. It’s fun to have this kind of interaction with our customers,” Rice said. “It’s easy for me, and I think everybody was entertained. It was definitely a success and I look toward to doing it again.”
Creativity and Passion Make Marble a New Mexico Success Story
Christina Riley is a avid craft beer drinker and self-proclaimed connoisseur. She and her group of friends frequent Marble Brewery and love the overall atmosphere. She attended the “Tasting with Ted” event last week.
Riley said her motivation for attending the tasting wasn’t only to learn about the beer but to see into the creative processes of Ted Rice and the Marble brewing team.
“Truly, we wanted to hear more about the history of the beer that we truly enjoy and get a little bit more insight as to how they come up with those ideas,” Riley said.
These seminars between the brewery and the consumer, for Riley, is important for the Land of Enchantment’s ability to showcase our talent.
“It hits home. We are in the heart of New Mexico and it’s really great to see people who are going after their dreams and are incredibly passionate about their dreams,” Riley said.
Riley’s favorite moment of the tasting was getting to see how Rice initially developed this successful business.
An ongoing effort of engagement
According to Geraldine Lucero, Onsite Event Coordinator, Marble Brewery will host these educational tastings on the first Wednesday of every month. The tasting is limited to 20 people. You can contact Marble Brewery for further information.
Side note: Marblefest 2018 will be happening on September 29th at the downtown location. Grey Wolf will be there!