FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – If you happened to just glance up at the TV on Thursday and spot the CBS Early Show anchors drinking Fat Tire on the set, you weren’t dreaming.
Jeff Glor and his anchor pals were doing a little taste test of the fine line of beers from Colorado’s New Belgium brewery. The tasting followed a report by Glor about the brewery, where his brother is a star employee.
All week long The Early Show has been featuring segments where the anchors experience jobs they’ve always wanted to try. Glor decided for his turn he’d pay a visit to Fort Collins to see how his younger brother Dave, a brewmaster, goes about his business.
“It’s beer — if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong,” Dave said, referring to his industry.
Glor says Dave discovered his passion early on and went after it.
“When I first had good beer — good craft beer — I wanted to know how to do it right away. I wanted to be able to do it myself,” Dave said.
After formal training in Germany, Dave became a certified brewmaster and then took a job at New Belgium.
Jeff said he learned soon after arriving in northern Colorado that real craft brewing is complicated and has an exact science.
Dave’s current job is called “beer shepherd,” which involves traveling up and down the West Coast literally tasting beers. He makes sure the New Belgium beers in glasses at different bars and restaurants tastes absolutely true to brand.
In order to really show Jeff the ropes of his job the brothers traveled from bar to bar (this time in Fort Collins) on bikes, inspecting beer. At the bar Stuft on College Avenue, Dave gave Jeff a full tasting tutorial. He showed Jeff how to gently shake the beer and then drive it by his nose to smell it. Dave was able to determine the quality of the beer by both smelling and tasting it.
Jeff tried out his new talent at bars all across Fort Collins, but he quickly learned that a defined sense of smell is much like an acquired taste; it takes time.
For a skilled beer shepherd like Dave, it’s second nature to know when a beer doesn’t taste right. When the beer doesn’t meet New Belgium standards, Dave has to diagnose why. Often that means cleaning the critically important draft lines.
Jeff had the opportunity to clean draft lines at Stuft. It was a task that he found a little difficult. He ended up spilling some beer, making what Dave called a beginners mistake.
After making the rounds at the bars, Jeff returned with his brother to New Belgium’s facility. He then tried a real taste panel with Lauren Salazar, a world renowned sensory evaluator.
During the test, Jeff learned to identify actual flavors in a beer. Those flavors included bananas foster and licorice.
Jeff said after a day with his brother he truly understood why Dave loves his job so much. He even said that while he loves his job as an anchor, his brother may have him beat.
“I wouldn’t trade my job for the world. I wouldn’t trade beer for the world,” Dave said.
Photo Gallery: See Images From Glor’s Visit To Fort Collins