A Beer Judge’s Diary: Music City Brew Off

Written by Ken Carman

Note: for those who get The Music City Brew-Score at the end of the year there will be even more pictures and stories regarding the 2014 MCBO. Oh, and after the column, stay tuned for the winner list.

bjd-265x300 We missed the main event at Music City Brew Off last year. Judging in Albany, NY, at Knickerbocker, we only ended up doing prejudging in 2013. Flash forward (zoom!) to the 2014 Music City Brew Off: this year we fermented our way through all the activities, and since we’re old fogies that “fermentation” was probably just a wee bit funky.
 To be honest, I think we both forgot just how intense it all can be. Almost every third day we were prejudging beer at Czanns: owned by long term Music City Brewers member Ken Rebman. Ken is one of the few old time members left: and when we joined in 98 (99?) I think he was already a member.
 Music City Brewers has more members who have become professional brewers than any club I have visited, or we are members of. And I have been to many homebrew club meetings from NY to Mississippi. We’re members of three. So what makes Nashville so different? I think it may have to do with the serious, educational, path the club has taken over the years. And, to be honest, having been in Nashville since 1978, on the air, hawking songs on Music Row and working in the music industry, the fact Nashville seems to attract a lot of type-A personalities might have a little to do with it.

Courtesy http://nashvillebreweries.com
Courtesy http://nashvillebreweries.com
 Czann’s worked well for prejudging, and having been part of MCBO since the very late 90s I can tell you some of our prejudging locations weren’t always the best, not to mention any names. (Spew, sputter, cough up dust, “I’m hot! I’m cold! I’m hot! I’m…” upstairs Boscos.)
 Thanks Ken. Great first name you have there, by the way.
 This year we had a new location for the actual competition: Ramada Inn Stadium Hotel in downtown Nashville, TN. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Music City Brew Off”