A Beer Judge’s Diary: Old Forge BIG Beer and Odd Ale, 2017

WINNERS 2017 OFBB
Best of Show BIG Beer: Evan Rauch’s Baltijes Rasa 9C Baltic Porter
Best of Show Odd Beer: Adam Kugler’s The Great Grape Ape 34C Experimental
2nd Place: Blair Richardson’s and Marti Richardson’s Sour Brown 28C
3rd Place: Luke Esoposki’s Specialty Wood Aged 25C
Honorable Mention: Dean Wiensch’s Dabling a Bit Part Deux 5C German Helles
People’s Choice: Michael ClarkPywar’s Hint O’ Mint 34C

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
  Why do I lose track? Nothing to do with high gravity and general weirdness, one hopes. I think this is the 4th OFBBOA, though the first year the name was different. But it could be the 5th. Maybe being stalked by a bear (part one) one year has
Courtesy adirondackalmanack.com
Courtesy adirondackalmanack.com
devoured some of my memory capacity, competition specific? I’m here, he didn’t eat me because Mr. Bear had more of an interest in a nearby outhouse. A long story where I REALLY don’t want to know the specifics of what he was doing in there. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Old Forge BIG Beer and Odd Ale, 2017”

A Beer-y Good Story: Competition Partners

 I understand: “Beer-y Good” may not apply to this one, except as a warning flag to keep up with your sponsors. I was glad I did.

Written by Ken Carman


 Be watchful who you dance with…
 Last year I partnered with a local organization for my competition. This is a case of, “Uh, oh.” When I heard everyone I had worked with last year was gone I knew in my other, more professional, life this rarely is a “good” sign. There’s a reason why “a new broom sweeps clean” is usually stupidity to the max. People know how things work, and more important how they didn’t. The best example I can think of; from before I started my life as a full time entertainer, is a car dealer I did transfers for. The company sold twice and the second time they fired everyone and radically changed the business model. The doors shut six months later. Continue reading “A Beer-y Good Story: Competition Partners”

Maria Devan Reviews Ayinger Octoberfeat Marzen


It is a little buttery. You can taste it right at the back end when you swallow. For me diacetyl puts a frown on my face and this time it did.

I will say that other aspects of beer can put a look on your face like the slight pucker or gentle kiss of a lambic or sour beer or the chewy motion when you first taste a big roasty stout. It’s kind of slick and that slickness stays at the back of your throat after you swallow.

The malt taste is trying but not as crisp as it would have been. It’s a good toasty beer though. Hop bitterness becomes more forward after a few sips. The other thing that diacetyl will do in a beer is take away from malt scent on the nose and flavor. This one does. And accents hop bitterness. This one did. Another gesture that tells you diacetyl is the hand up at the waist, palm forward. No more .

A Beer Judge’s Diary: the 11th Beaver River Beer Tasting, Beaver River, NY, 2017

STRANGE person with obvious tongue defect who does this beer tasting year after year

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 Really, this was the 11th Beaver River Beer Tasting? Yes! Doesn’t seem that long ago. Of course, along with the good crowd some regulars showed up, like Donna Fruit Beer Brown: seen in the picture at the bottom of this column, Joyce Carman Lovelace and her daughters: May and Dorothy, the Hutchinsons. Of course what would an annual Beaver River Beer Tasting be without award winning brewer, beer judge, steward, winemaker Mark Franey… who also blows mean bagpipes?
 Mark brought several browns to educate the palate including maple brown, hazelnut brown, pecan brown, caramel brown and chili coffee brown. He also brought some of his wine. No one whined about that. Since we have limited time, about 5 beers in, Mark took over. We only have from about 1:30 until 3:30 when the busses arrive to take everyone off to the Riverboat back to Stillwater. Luckily they pick up in front of the house. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: the 11th Beaver River Beer Tasting, Beaver River, NY, 2017”

The Setting Sun: Five of Vienna’s Best Spots for a Late Summer Beer

A colleague of mine at the Wien Museum (Vienna’s city history museum) asked me over lunch today about some of my favourite places to have a beer in Vienna. It was a fitting question. He had recently participated in a learn-to-brew day at Brauwerk and has kindled an interest in beers beyond his favourite styles. It was also a timely question. Today was my last day at the Wien Museum. Two years in this fine city, and five days left.

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