Written by Ken Carman for The Professor
Normally I use this column to talk about competitions, judging issues and such. Well, “competition” counts here, I suppose: chili. And the 2015 Mid-State Brew Crew’s Chili Cookoff did feature a lot of beer. I even brought three of my braggots.
I suppose my main reasoning for covering this grand affair is to suggest other clubs consider a chili event like this. And, for those competition oriented, with some tweaking this could become something that educates on the basics of judging, whether beer or chili.
I was delighted with how well this annual affair was organized. Tom Gentry, Music City Brewer and owner of Rebel Brewing, had a small chili judging affair a few years back, but Mid State Brew Crew, out of Murfreesboro, TN really puts on a great shebang.
There were 19 entries on Sunday, February 7th, 2015. Prizes were awarded for best chili, chili with the most unique ingredients and the hottest entry. I loved the variety. One had a nice deep, yet subtle, tomato sense, probably my favorite was one with a rich, meaty base that reminded me of venison. I found out Adrian Oldham was the chef and had used lamb. I use lamb in my gumbo: the most underrated meat in America, in my opinion. Another entry was a rich white bean chili, and another offered zucchini, okra, green peppers. I can’t mention them all, but there wasn’t a bad chili in the bunch.
Murfreesboro and Rutherford Wine Lovers Network also attended and offered some samples of wine as well. This chili off was held at Let’s Make Wine, just off the historic square in Murfreesboro. Cheryl and Jack were gracious hosts for sure, and even let us lock up.
Art Whitaker ran the meeting, and did a grand job bouncing between beer and chili sampling. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: CHILI!”