So much stuff in this episode! One of our own wins big! Water! Hop Contest (Challenge us!) Australia! News! Lab Experiment! And listener Ralph Rice sent us his Altbier made with Mecca Grade Malts, so we sat down, tasted it and asked him questions! So sit back, grab a night cap and let’s go!
Apologies: my camera messed up in my phone and then the new system ay the library in Old Forge wouldn’t let me download pictures. The following is all I have
Old Forge BIG Beer and Odd Ale is a competition Millie and I started, and have supported, since 2014. That makes this year our fifth anniversary. We are also supported by Saranac Brewing in Utica who always does a great job with judge gifts. Thanks Fred Matt and Cara!
This year we had a smallest number of entries since 14. We only had about 24 or 25 that year. This year we had 29. We shifted it into September and found ourselves in competing with too many other competitions and events. Next year that will change. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: OFBB 2018”
True Story: In the spring of 1992, my actress girlfriend and I, having worked at all the theaters we could reasonably travel to in the Southeast from our home in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, decided to take her sister and brother-in-law up on their kind offer (translation: “constant badgering”) of a temporary place to bunk in if we would move all the way across America to Bainbridge Island, Washington, just across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle. We had pets and two kids and a Toyota Camry and waaaay too much Stuff, so we hitched the car to a 28′ Ryder truck and set off across the map, as she was working at a theater in Mississippi and wouldn’t be able to join us until September.
Before beginning this series, let me offer the only disclaimer that matters at all in reading ANY list:
This is ONE GUY’S OPINIONS.
After ten years of writing this and its precursor in the Seattle P-I, I finally hit the wall this year and decided to stop doing anything called “Best Of”. Two reasons: A) ANY list – EVERY list – is nothing but the individual opinions of one person or an aggregated bunch of opinions from some group. The groups MAY, in what I would have to call rare cases, include people with tremendous acumen and experience. In MOST cases, though, it’s just a bunch of folks with an interest and viewpoints. And B) There is no “best”. Period. And if something does happen to be the best at the given moment, that status is guaranteed to change before the list is even posted, especially in all our distinct and dynamic American beverage cultures. New breweries, wineries, and distilleries are opening almost daily. Established under-performers are beginning to Get It and taking leaps forward.
I didn’t take any pictures this year, but my cousin Joyce did, so I decided to edit this and add them in. (Later info came in, Dorothy Joyce’s daughter actually took them. Probably the weird angles had to do with WAY too much beer? A joke.) Hence the second posting. She is standing there with a beer she was serving. I was grateful she walked around and helped. Next year I may shift this event until the Twitchell Lake people come up towards the end of September, or even Columbus Day because we were competing with a chicken dinner this time and next year. That’s an event that I’ve been going to since I was a kid, but it was always on Saturday. I have to ask Mark Franey and do some footwork asking others.
I was going to post a picture of Mark Franey, who made it again, but I forgot for some reason the site dumped all pictures last year. He always does a great job and whatever animal he chooses for a hat that day helps too. I think one year a helpful beaver undam-ed a tap.
There’s a dirty joke there, but I’m NOT going to use it!
There is one of him here from cousin Joyce’s stash.
My cousin Joyce, her daughter and husband: Dorothy and John made it again, as well as friends Lisa and Matt. They tented in my yard, Joyce stayed at Norridgewock along with her grandson. Max, JR.
How most of our tasters made it to this quaint railroad town with no roads going to it!
Mark has many beers including, but not limited to, a light ale with various fruits like cherry. We started out with a simple brown ale. I introduced the London Brown Braggot I brewed in Eagle Bay this year. Immediately everyone who tried it morphed into John, Paul, George and Ringo. Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe showed up but since they were Beatles rejects we fed them to the Stillwater shark with just a light coating of Gray Poupon. I served two beers from Nashville breweries and Marcy, NY. Jitter Juice was a fruit coffee beer. I don’t remember the other two.
Mark in chair.
One beer from Empire had lavender in it was an unremarkable ale, but the lavender was interesting. One quaffer said he’d never had a good beer by them. I’d rate this as not bad, but not great.
Last year I listed this affair as the 11th. I think it is actually the 13th.
It was a good time for all.
Welcome to my series on Prague. In contrast to other series I’ve compiled or other city/regional spotlights I’ve written, I’m going to start at the end, as it were, with a rough-and-ready list of beers that you can find in Prague. The next post will feature a list of highlights, including what to see, where to find the beers mentioned below, and where to find the best tavern experiences. For those readers unaccustomed to seeing Tempest posts that amount to lists and bullet points, fear not. I’ve got a nice, long narrative “guide” to Prague ready to go.