Artificial Intelligence

Pairing AI with IPA at Inaugural Zafin Beer Tasting

pairing AI with IPA at Zafin Beer Tasting

“Why not? We’re a tech company,” is a phrase often heard around the office, here at Zafin. So when our fearless content marketer, Cam Smith, approached the leadership team to organize a curated beer tasting for employees, it was irrefusable if not irresistible.

Cam, you see, moonlights as the opens in a new windowSublime Imbiber and opens in a new windowoperates his own blog and website dedicated to his passion for food and drink — mostly drink. His pallet is certainly on the more adventurous side, and around the office at least, he’s taken up arms in battling bland beer.

Small win for beer, big win for Zafin Social Club

Following an office poll leading up to this week’s event that cited mostly mainstream brews as favorites, he quickly realized that he could share his pursuit of finer tastes with our employees. His approach was to lead us through a series of crafts while discussing the history and process by which each selection was produced. This approach took our crowd, which grew quickly, out of their “big beer” tendencies and especially their comfort zone.

Understanding the brews at hand

Abysmal pour attributed to the photographer, not the bartender.

Armed with the knowledge that this was an intro to beer tasting for many, Cam began with a lager — standard fare; nice and approachable. He then turned to a wet-hoppy IPA from a local producer. This one was definitely a flavor-forward beverage with many picking up notes of grapefruit as Cam professed the historical significance of leveraging hops to mask beer spoiled in trans-Atlantic transit.

An oatmeal stout was up next. While intimidating to most with its malty froth and deep color, upon first sip, the room warmed up to the thickest of four brews. Last and certainly skewing heavily on the adventurous side was a sour. As we cautiously quaffed, we learned from our host how the intentional deployment of bacteria cleverly plays chemist to bring out its notes.

With an expanded pallet and brewing knowledge, a consensus was reached that this must be a recurring event on the calendar. Next time, we’ll be exploring wine or perhaps whiskey. If you’re interested in learning more about careers at Zafin so that you too can partake — please explore our open roles.