A Toast To The Fallen Warriors

Zoz

HINTS:
• The identities of the beers are not necessarily important for solving the puzzle.
• The flavortext clues that the number 3 is important. Also the month that all the dates are in is March, also cluing the number 3. The fact that 3 is important should probably be the first direct hint.
• Compare the tasting notes with real details about the real beers. This hint indicates that there may be discrepancies, and something important may be encoded in the descriptions.
• The details of the old man in the flavortext mirror something about the beers.
• All beers have certain qualities, and all tasting notes will reference each of these qualities.
• Bases other than 10. (These last 2 should basically give it away).
SOLUTION:
• Directly converting the date numbers into letters gives you 'RUBYFISH':
```  R - 18
U - 21
B - 2
Y - 25
F - 6
I - 9
S - 19
H - 8
```
This indicates that the dates are a red herring, they are only there as a backup clue to the number 3 (the only month in Spring 1104 in which the numeric dates match the days of the week is March).
• The puzzle word is encoded in 3 digits of a trinary code (base 3). This allows for 27 characters, i.e. the full alphabet plus a space. I have chosen the space to be 000.
• Each digit position within the number describes a quality of the beer that is always mentioned in a tasting note. The bit order of most significant to least follows the order you'd notice these things when tasting a beer: color, body, hop character.
• Within each digit position, the possible values are 0, 1 and 2. These are chosen to match beer quality terms in the ordering you'd expect, from "light" to "heavy", respectively as follows:
```  Color: 0 = amber/1 = copper/2 = dark
Body: 0 = thin/1 = medium/2 = full
Hops: 0 = floral/1 = spicy/2 = bitter
```
• The beer descriptions also clue this ordering (copper is not too light and not too dark, spicy hoppiness comes in the middle).
• The answer word, "NAINSOOK", is encoded directly in trinary as follows:
LetterDecTriAttributesBeer
N14112copper, medium bodied, bitter otter creek copper ale
A 1001amber, thin, spicy czech rebel bohemian pilsner
I 9100copper, thin, floral tetley's english ale
N14112copper, medium bodied, bitter cooper's ale
S19201dark, thin, spicy DAB traditional dark
O15120copper, full bodied, floral mendocino white hawk ipa
O15120copper, full bodied, floral paulaner marzen
K11102copper, thin, bitter hacker-pschorr dunkel weisse