A Beer Judge’s Diary: Bluff City Brewer’s Extravaganza, Memphis

199 entries Best Of Show – Extravaganza! 2014



Entry Name




Chris Arnt

Ron’s Dunkel

4B: Munich Dunkel

Barley Mob Brewers


Jeff Kinzer

Brett Cream Ale

23A: Specialty Beer

Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs


Morgan Sapp

Brett Strawberry Farmhouse

16E: Belgian Specialty Ale

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
  I forgot my camera.
  Memphis is about 210 miles from Nashville. I woke up at about 3 and couldn’t sleep so we headed out early. There’s not a lot between here and there, and good time was made. We got there in enough time to doze off in the Element. Adam Hargrove: head brewer, invited us in early… except the alarm system went whack doodle so it took a while anyway.
  Millie and I judged meads, cysers and melomels and there were only 5. We thought it would be an easy morning, I even told them if they needed me for another table, once I was done, I was willing to help. But for some reason it took longer than we expected. And all we had was a morning session. That was great.
  Compliments to the organizer: that they did enough prejudging to make it, oh, so easy.
  It took a while to for the club to cut a deal meal-wise, apparently whomever they had organized it with wasn’t there, or paperwork had been lost But soon we were gobbling away. I had a Boscos burger and Millie had grilled fish, she can’t seem to remember what kind of fish it was.
  On to BOS.
  I was a little concerned. We had a few small tables tied together and they lined them all up down the middle: hardly enough room to spread out papers to ID samples, or place spent glasses. So I suggested we judge 7, kick out a few, and then move on to more. Everyone seemed comfortable with doing that and at first it was relatively easy. But as it went on it got tough: as expected. I must admit the order I would have put them in would have been a tad different, but at the end I was looking for something to tingled my taste buds and make me want more: something outstanding among the outstanding, exceptional. But I understand that’s not necessarily what it’s all about. Entries that fit the style to perfection certainly qualify. Yes, I admit, I do trend weird, but I was perfectly comfortable with more standard fare’, style-wise, getting first and second.
  After the awards we swung over to Wiseacre Brewing, suggested by some of the judges. Wow! What a crowd. Then we went where everyone was going: The Growler, another parking nightmare only because they simply didn’t have the space. The club, Bluff City, had bought pizza and I got to harass the brewer from High Cotton: Paul Cottam, and his wife again, who was a steward. I even took some of his beer to go: Sawmill Stout.
  Nice to know after so many years absence there are more breweries in Memphis, and nice to know the Extravaganza is still rolling along.


 A Beer Judge’s Diary is a column that follows the judging adventures of BJCP judge Ken Carman and his wife, Millie; a column that celebrates both homebrewers and professionalism in beer judging.
©Copyright 2014
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all rights reserved

s from 57 brewers, 32 judges, 8 stewards, 1 staff and 20 sponsors.

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