History Was Made!

The first ever Beer & Knitting Class (as far as I’m aware) took place on Saturday, Nov 8th and a great time was had by all. The subject was American Wheat Beer & Dishcloths and we had a full class of enthusiastic students, a great selection of beers to sample, and five dishcloth patterns to choose from.

We started the class with Lost Coast Great White and a welcoming toast. It’s not often that a knitting class starts with a toast. Since it seemed unnatural to talk about beer with all these knitters sitting there not knitting, everyone picked a dishcloth pattern and started casting on. When all projects were comfortably underway, we continued on with the beer side of the class.

After the Great White, we moved next to the Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat – which is a wheat beer with an different touch. [See Brewmaster Barbara Groom’s clarification about the differences between the two beers in her comment on this post. Thanks for your input, Barbara!] From there we tasted and discussed hefeweizen by Widmer, Einhorn, Santa Cruz Mountain and Carmel Brewing, German hefeweizens by Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr, Belgian-style white beers by Allaghash, Anheuser-Busch and New Belgium, wheat beers by Sierra Nevada and North Coast, and a blueberry wheat beer by Sea Dog. We also had one bottle of dunkel weizen, which gave everyone a taste of the potential of the dark side of wheat beer.

The clear favorites of the night were Lost Coast Great White and Allagash White. Opinions were strongly split on our new local Einhorn Hefeweizen, and there were a few people who voiced a preference for German wheat beer over the American versions.

Only one of the dishcloth patterns was not chosen. Although everyone liked the look of the Vortex 5 Dishcloth, they decided to save this more challenging pattern for a time when they could focus a bit better. Instead the students chose a simple garter stitch pattern, a lace pattern, a circle cloth pattern, and a garter stitch entrelac pattern. By the end of the class, each person’s dishcloth was progressing nicely.

What a fun class! Everyone left with a greater appreciation of wheat beer, a list of their favorite beers to explore further, and a dishcloth that was well on its way to being completed.

Next up is Christmas Beer & Christmas Ornaments on Sat, Dec 13th. We’ll explore the fun flavors that are only available during the holidays while we knit up little gems to decorate our trees.

-Jenne Hiigel