Here’s a story about a man nam…No, no, no, nobody named Brady. Don’t panic. This is a beer tale. A rather twisted beer tale and I’m going to just skim it because it’s really none of my business but…I have a brewer pal named Mark Hood, up here in The Soggy Corner of America, specifically in the small but dynamic beer hotbed of Poulsbo, Washington, who founded and helped build the first Washington state brewery specializing in Belgian-style ales, Sound Brewery. In Sound’s too-short existence, Mark created several rather amazing ales, not all of them Belgian. After initially swearing that he would not just crank out IPA after IPA (in fact, he had originally planned to do NO IPAs), his customers’ repeated requests prompted him to make a few and they became classics of the style, here in the Nanny State. Humulo Nimbus, Humonkulous, Reluctant, and anniversary editions for Town & Country Markets and Seattle’s Chuck’s Hop Shop…all resonated strongly with our PNW HopHeads.
Ye Olde has been asked to write something for the season, hoping to make this a regular feature. The Professor asked Scribe to spice up the site, and in Scribe’s usual fashion he goes for the worst. It’s where the humor often is.
For the first entry we have Abita Spring’s latest dive deep into the worst deep end of the pool, away from their too often mediocre’. They used to be incredibly good in the early years but a long line of brewers that have come and gone have had their toll.
What does Scribe get? Spices, more spices, MORE spices. Is there a damn beer here? It’s not just all spices that ruins this beer, though Scribe suspects maybe A spice like Allspice, maybe two at best. Not the number of spices that matters; more how it was spiced, and the fact that the &$# poor beer behind the raw spices provides little to no back up.
All of which could encourage barf up.
Imagine this: brew a mediocre beer that has little taste, then at the end just dump in raw spices. OR boil too long with those spices, though no overboil sense hits the nose, or your slightly downward portal. That’s it! You too can brew a 7 barf beer. Awarded 7 out of 10 in case in future editions Scribe has to go up to 8, 9 or 10: the last pure toxicity almost on a dispose of the mouth and tongue scale.
PLEASE, Mr. or Ms. Brewers, can you disappoint Scribe and not go to 10? He’d appreciate it.
NOTE: My own pictures of Jamye Naramore and Michael Wilcox were too blurry to use. Thanks to Jamye and Kansas City Bier Meisters for the pictures of the test and Jamye for her rock climbing picture. Been writing these beer columns for quite a while and FB has made getting pictures so much easier!
Something I should have said to Jamye as a joke after she said that no one had flunked the test yet…
”Oh, no, now you’ve cursed it!”
Then, after talking with a fellow judge who was also hoping to expand his usefulness to the Program (BJCP), I felt even better because it seemed we generally agreed. Seemed like we were talking about the same samples, especially the ice cider.
You may remember last tasting test (mead) episode I was worried about my Long Island Mead exam. I did pass and become a mead judge. Hopefully Kansas City will be known to me from now on as, “Cider Endorsement City.”
Long drive! Worse than NYC area from the Adirondacks for the mead tasting exam with Andrew Luberto. Why did I drive over 500 miles? Because cider tasting tests are so few. Israel? NOT an option. Seems like there was one in LA or something like that. 500 miles could have easily turned into thousands.
The journey: Tennessee to Kentucky, to Illinois, to Missouri, to Kansas for a motel, then back to Missouri to Kansas City Bier. I always make sure I can find the place the night before. Glad I did that because that night before the GPS brought me to some suburb. I did discover I had passed the brewery on the way. Wrong street number I guess.
Potential cider judges, including some weird guy with really long hair who drove over 500 miles to get here.