Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bloat Open Beer Judging

At the crack of way too early, Dave Williamson arrived at my door to squire yours truly to Cincinnati to judge at the Bloatarian Brewing League’s club-only Bloat Open. And for a club only, an impressive turn out: 135 beers all told for the day. Nice showing.

In the morning session, I judged American Pale Ales (10A); there were 11 entries in this category, making it pretty much a category on it’s own. I will admit, however, the simplicity of having just one type of beer to consider made this much smoother. No so with the afternoon session, however, where I judged a combined category of German Wheat (15A) and Belgian and French Ales (16). Our category included:

15A. Weizen/Weissbier
16A. Witbier
16B. Belgian Pale Ale
16C. Saison
16D. Bière de Garde
16E. Belgian Specialty Ale

We did, however, run this this with two sets of judges, so it was a bit quicker than the morning session; after our six and their five, we each pushed beers to a mini BOS and ranked the top 4. This round, however, had a beer in pretty much every category in the range, including two from 16E, so the wide range let for some interesting parsing and discussion during the mini BOS. Both of the 16E beers were quite interesting: one was a Belgian Blond with American hops, and the other was a witbier with rye, and both were excellent.

With that done and done, Dave and I jumped in the car and headed North to D-town. Hello late afternoon napping!


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