Brew Artisanal Beer in Your Own Backyard at Casa Matienzo Posted on 4 Oct 03:29 , 0 comments
Article by Nora Wallenius.
Welcome to Casa Matienzo. Art gallery, workshop, community center, and brewery? That’s right, welcome to the interactive world of Casa Matienzo. The center lives by the motto, “Tell me and I forget; Show me and I remember; Involve me and I understand!” From theater workshops to pottery classes to beer brewing seminars, Casa Matienzo offers it all.
Located on a tree-lined, residential street in the peaceful neighborhood of Colegiales, Casa Matienzo is distinguishable by its multicolored light cubes on the front wall of the building. Upon entering, I notice a clean white art space and showroom, pottery workroom, kitchen, and beautiful terrace with a grill for asados (of course!). Our professor, James, leads me to meet the group who have signed up for the four week beer making seminar. James Foster is originally from England, but seems to have lived everywhere from Italy, Canada, the US, and now, for 6 years, Argentina. He has been brewing brewing beer, wine and spirits at a young age. His experience grew in each of the cultures he lived. He received a Level three certificate in WST-Wine & Spirit Education Trust and passed the BJCP to qualify as a beer tasting judge. He even worked for four summers picking hops in England to better understand this essential beer ingredient. James also has his own brewing label, Boudicca Beer, which produces natural, artisanal beer with influences from his experiences around the world.
I joined the last of the seminar’s classes, an all day Saturday event where the group takes everything they have learned to create their own beer. The group had decided to make a Belgian Pale Ale, which I wholeheartedly approved. The barely had already been brewed to extract the sugar and the group was adding in the hops. Some of the other students had previous experience in beer making and others had no idea of the difference between a Quilmes and an IPA. This made for a lighthearted group, where students and professor were able to help other students with calculations, theories, and directions. While the beer is cooking, our midday break is celebrated with a delicious asado, in true Argentine fashion. At the end of the day, the mixture is cooled and sent to James’ factory to be filled with yeast. In a few weeks time, the group will gather again to taste their beer, along with the seminar’s previous students.
As the artisanal beer scene is growing in Buenos Aires, it is refreshing to see classes like this one pop up. James plans on offering another seminar at the end of October and a shorter more compact beer making class is in the works.
Casa Matienzo offers what its followers want- fresh and creative projects for personal growth. The organization is home to a team of arts and health professionals who dedicate themselves to personal creative enrichment. In other words, human and social development through art and culture. With a motto like that, how can you go wrong? Of course, a cold, refreshing homemade beer never hurt anyone.