Queen’s Head Pub Plays Host to Beer Education

Sarah M Roberts

Boston Beer Company founder C. James Koch ’71 held forth on brewing the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub yesterday evening as part of the “Beer School” series.

Continuing its series of “Beer School” events, the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub hosted Boston Beer Company founder C. James Koch ’71 yesterday evening.

The popular pub series welcomes local brewers to host beer tastings and discuss the challenges faced in the brewing industry.

Koch, who also received law and business degrees from Harvard, was slated to discuss the legal aspects of brewing and distributing beer, but the boisterous executive instead chose to focus on his passion of making quality beer.

“There are some of us who drink beer every day,” Koch said, “and we want a beer that’s both satisfying and complex.”

By enlightening his audience on topics from “skunky beer,” which emits an unusual smell if the hops are exposed to excessive light, to the contents of his refrigerator—only the company’s Samuel Adams Boston lager—the Harvard grad mixed laid-back humor with a serious understanding of the beer-making process to the impressed crowd.

“He brought it down to a science,” Aneesh K. Venkat ’08 said. “I knew there was a lot to wine tasting, but I didn’t realize the sort of thing applied for beer as well.”

Koch kept the tone of the event light, not acknowledging his company’s April recall of bottles of Samuel Adams beer potentially containing shards of glass.

While Koch’s constant smile and affinity for beer gave him an aura of relaxation, the brewer took pride in his trade, speaking to the success of Sam Adams and American brewing.

“Among brewers, they recognize that the best beers today are made in the U.S.,” Koch said. “[Sam Adams] has nine medals, more than any German beer.”

“I only send beer [overseas] to remind them who makes it best,” he added.

Despite the informal atmosphere of the tasting, during which Koch partook in the tasting of all five beers offered, he praised the pub for providing educational events and a safe space for students.

“This place was a crappy basement when I was here,” Koch joked. “It’s really ballsy of Harvard to do this, to put a pub on campus and give their students an opportunity to drink in the right setting.”

The Pub’s student manager of marketing, Joshua P. Woodruff ’11, echoed these goals for the Pub.

“This is a place for students to congregate and celebrate whatever they’re into,” Woodruff said. “It’s an exciting time for the pub because it’s so new.”

And for many attendees, Beer School has been one of their favorite events at the pub.

“We were really excited for Sam Adams,” said Nathan A. Taylor ’08 who has attended every Beer School. “The pub is doing really well brining in awesome Beer School people.”