Monday, August 25, 2014

Beer University at The Chimes

As some of you might have heard or seen, the Chimes Around The World program is no longer with us. This definitely makes me a little sad as I remember the old days with the beer-stained cards that we would fill out as we tried various beers from all sorts of different countries and always finished it off with a Little Kings Cream Ale. I don't know how that became a tradition, I think it goes back to when my cousin Travis and I finished our first round of Around The World and somehow ended up on that beer as #60, from there on out it was always the clincher.  

I managed it three times on my own, plus twice more as part of my kickball team's celebration and attempt at going Around The World in one night.  We'd bring 12 or more team members and friends, get a big table, and knock out 60 in a night, earning "Pirates Of The Caribballin'" a couple of plaques if you look for them. Great times, great memories, the problem is, not a whole lot of great beer. Unfortunately a lot of those offerings from random countries were quite mediocre. I'm not saying all the foreign beer was bad, because there are plenty of imports that are excellent, but in order to get to 20 countries you had to suck it up a few times and drink some swill.

Tyler, the current beer manager at The Chimes on campus, recognized this problem, and realized that if The Chimes was going to return to glory as a craft beer bar, they were going to have to ditch all the foreign filler. So it was out with Around The World, and in with Beer University.  

Rather than drinking 60 beers from 20 countries, in order to complete your "undergraduate degree," you need to drink 50 different beers from up to 15 "courses" such as Beginner Pale Ale, Intro to Imperial Stouts, or Study Abroad Germany.  In conjunction with their Beer U, the Chimes is now also offering all of their beers in 10 oz. pours as well as their traditional 20 oz. imperial pints.

Once you complete your undergraduate degree, you get a Chimes t-shirt, but then the fun begins and you can go for your Beer U Masters and PhD.  Tyler told me that those "degrees" are going to require some of the specialty beers that come through, the more rare stuff like Parish's Ghost In The Machine or a keg of Bourbon County Stout.  Once those advanced degrees are completed you can get your name up on the wall just like they used to do for Around The World.  

All in all I think it's a good program, and it's a great thing to see the foreign filler depart in place of more American craft and quality foreign beers. I'll be working toward my degree, I'm already 5 beers in!