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Legends hosts beer informational event

Matt Bramanti | Wednesday, February 18, 2004

It was the course every college student dreams of: Beer 101. Tuesday night at Legends, brew guru Jim Herter had two-dozen students at rapt attention as he discussed the popular beverage that generated $45 billion in U.S. sales in 2002.The event was an effort to teach students that the world of beer is more than watered-down pitchers at the Boat Club, Herter said.”I can just sit at a table and talk about beer with people for hours,” he said.Herter’s official title is business manager with Notre Dame Food Services, but he’s also a self-proclaimed “beer geek.”Herter showed students a PowerPoint presentation about the brewing of beer throughout history.One slide featured a photo of ancient Babylonian stone tablets dating back to 4300 BC – the earliest recorded beer recipe.The presentation was punctuated with “beer factoids.” For example, the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses each weigh nearly 2,300 pounds and stand six feet tall at the shoulder.The event also featured free samples of beer from area microbreweries. Charles Krcilek, president of Back Road Brewery in LaPorte, said he was excited to participate in the event.”We’re a local craft brewer, sharing the spirit of making good beer,” Krcilek said, as he offered patrons samples of his wares, including Maple City Gold and Millennium Lager. Krcilek is no stranger to Legends; his potent #9 Barley Wine has been offered at the pub since its opening last year.Lee Richardson, who operates Beer Guy Distributing in Elkhart, said the event gave him an opportunity to introduce specialty beers to the college market. “It lets me bring a variety of beers that aren’t sold here yet,” Richardson said.Students praised the event, saying it was well worth the $20 admission. “We learned a lot, but they kept it funny,” said senior Annie Starks.Senior Kevin Dolan said Beer 101 was educational as well as entertaining. “It was the right amount of history, technical information and lighthearted stuff,” he said. “You get a lot for your money.”Herter said that for the month of March, Legends will feature a variety of stouts, an Irish-style beer, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. “We’ll have several new beers, including several Celtic beers,” he said.Beer 101 marks the first of a three-part series of events at Legends, said student worker Courtney Schuster. On March 30, the pub will sponsor Wine 101, with the aim of teaching students the intricacies of selecting the right wine. In April, Legends will host an event about the etiquette of drinking in business situations.