Written by Ken Carman for The Professor
I knew I was in trouble when I got the E-mail that claimed, “I know you like high gravity,” so I wasn’t surprised when the morning was filled with Belgian Strongs. Hey, it’s what I do. Who’s da man who started an all high gravity competition and used to be one of the biggest suppliers for Big Bob’s Barley Wine Bash in Pensacola Beach, Florida?
This edition of A Beer Judge’s Diary will be a little different. If I repeat a competition I try to mix things up a tad. This will be more about the beer, my method of judging, stewards and my fellow judge… since Jake Evers and I partnered for the day.
Jake and I patiently worked through every entry we judged. Jake is semi-new to judging and I gave him the option (A) of silence until after (or just before) scoring, or (B) laying out our cards and discussing as we went along. I prefer this with new judges: it’s like teaching someone how to play pinocle or rummy with all the cards out on the table. But instead of learning how to play a game, how to achieve a winning hand, it’s all about putting a great judging team together. When the other judge chooses option “B” I always tell them to stand up for what they believe and I never push for them to agree if they really feel they sense something I don’t, or don’t sense what I do.
The title of this edition came from a discussion that happened as I started to set up. I put out my modified lantern: non-led with white duct tape to focus down to just the contents of the glass, a special AWOG competition opener that doesn’t bend the cap and several aroma glasses that seal so I can do appearance first and wait to judge that all too easy to escape item: aroma.
It’s always been an “A” or “B,” thing with me. Either the head fades, or the aroma leaks into the room. Shaking with a palm over a glass gets my hand wet, or spills if not careful. So an aroma glass that seals helps.
Jake used the aroma glass a lot.
We worked well together.
As I set up one judge says, “Boy, you come with all the tools, don’t you?”
Without even thinking I snapped back, “Yeah, I’m the Batman of beer judges.”
“You just need the utility belt.” Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: The Batman Beer Judge Appears at Fugetaboutit 2015”