Saturday, October 22, 2011

CMI Oktoberbest Zinzinnati Beer Judging

This year’s Oktoberbest was held across the river in Kentucky on the 16th floor of the Radisson (sorry, Northside)—nothing like a scenic view of downtown Cincinnati to set the stage for drinking beer first thing in the a.m. No, wait—let’s paint a better image of beer judging than that. After all, if I was a college football fan, I’d already be drunk at this point. And while my comparison is neither nice nor fair, I’m comfortable enough with myself to point out that I don’t care. Take that, annoying drunken Ohio State fans. Yes, college football, I accept your apology.

First beer of the day: 10:08 a.m.

For the morning flight, I judged Category 10: American Ale with Frank Barickman; there were actually six judges total, with a queued flight of 22 beers, but I was paired with Frank. Judging with Frank is always a treat—he’s witty, knowledgeable, and an all-around good time. After our lunch in the revolving restaurant at the top of the hotel (ah, the 70’s), I judged Category 14: IPA with Jim Matt, one of the brewers at Sun King in Indianapolis. Again, this was a queued flight with six judges—I think there were 21 beers total—and I had an enjoyable time discussing beers with Jim and trying to learn as much as I could from him. After the judging finished, Jeffrey and I swung by the Party Source on our way out of town, and then headed back to Dayton. Ah, the life of a beer judge. Oh, and results are here.

As far as swag goes, CMI still sets the bar. Last year, a gift certificate to Northern Brewer. This year, portable coolers for all the judges. Damn. I’ll certainly be back next year.


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