SARASOTA -- Introduction to Beer Science students at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee are preparing for a beer-tasting finale as the end of the semester approaches.
"It's definitely one of the highlights of the semester," said professor Joe Askren, who along with USFSM chemistry instructor Ken Caswell oversees the science-of-beer class.
The 2015 Fall Semester Beer & Food Tasting Finale Event is set to run Dec. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
In addition to learning beer basics and taking guided tours at local microbreweries, the 23 students have separated into teams in recent weeks to try their own hand at beer making, according to officials. Working with master brewers from Big Top Brewing Co., Avid Brew Co., and Darwin Brewing Co., the students have been tasked to conjure up unique and flavorful concoctions to be paired with food.
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One of the more lavish entries was the brainchild of senior Dennis Metz, who with fellow students used white truffles donated from New York-based Urbani Truffles in making a German Kölsch-style beer. Other entries include tangerine-coriander beer, honeydew melon and banana-chocolate.
In anticipation, Chef Garry Colpitts of USFSM's Culinary Innovation Lab in Lakewood Ranch is preparing a menu of savory and sweet dishes based on descriptions of the students' beers.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. at Selby Auditorium on the USFSM campus with a round-table discussion involving master brewers, including from Big Top Brewing Co., Avid Brew Co., Darwin Brewing Co., Green Bench Brewing Co., and Cigar City Brewing.
The event is open to the public. Tickets are $65 and are available at http://usfsm.edu/beerscience.