Last week, Cask Republic of New Haven, CT (legit craft beer bar/restaurant) hosted an open home brewing competition…. a venue that encouraged passionate home brewers, few and far between, to enter submissions of their artful craft. They elected yours truly, to be on the judge panel… so yea…. I drank some beers… for free. Only thing is, I had to focus on the intricacies and attributes of each and every beer, critiquing the fundamental elements of the respective styles.
The judge panel consisted of 15 beer industry all stars, comprised of heats in 3-4 judges. Every heat of judges was given 4-6 home-brews…. 2 of which had to be promoted to the final round. The final round consisted of 7 finalists. The judges lined around the perimeter of a large table and all samples the finalist home brews. The judges wrote their final lists, from favorite to least favorite. And the winner… a German Pilsner. Seems simple, but let’s not forget, pilsners are the most difficult to perfect. You have 4 ingredients to procure a final product. No adjustments of malts, yeast, or hops. No additions. When you have less to experiment with, you brew by strict fundamentals. For a beer that sounds to simple to brew, it’s not; therefore, brewer’s must be sure to mash, kettle, and ferment at all the right temperatures. Timing is of the essence. Everything must be executed timely and correctly in order to brew a solid Pilsner.
So congratulations to the random dude from Hamden, CT to return home with the grand prize. The grand prize was nothing special…. just some limited release bottles, donated from New England Brewing Co. and Two Roads Brewing Co., some brewery swag, some beer dinner tickets, some home brewing supplies, and oh… I forgot to mention one small thing…. free beer from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. for one entire year. Pshhh, what a lame grand prize…. NOT!! Why was I a judge again?? Winning the competition sounds wayyyy better. At any rate, congratulations to all of the participants, judges, and staff that help partake in the successful event.
Judge panel (I’m on the bottom right, in light yellow button-down)
So cheers to the inspiring community of craft beer and cheers to Cask Republic. Drink Responsibly. Over & Out.