First beer of the day: 9:41 a.m.
Today’s event took yours truly and Jeffrey to Weasel Boy Brewing in Zanesville, OH. Damn, that was a painful early morning drive. My morning flight was Category 10; there were 28 beers between six judges, and we hit the whole spectrum of beers, from APA to American Brown. My first beer of the day was the best of the beers I sampled in the morning flight—it was an APA that needed more hop aroma and flavor to balance the pleasant malt body and bitterness. The afternoon flight is where I got my come-uppance: Category 21, aka Spice/Herb/Vegetable, which includes pumpkin beers. Let’s just say I certainly served my penance, since there were 22 beers and four judges. Ugh. More balance please. Oh, and another thing: can more people follow directions and actually learn to declare a base style? The best beer I had in this flight was an RIS with vanilla bean. Sadly, the vanilla barely came through at all, but the base beer was phenomenal—subtle cocoa, dark chocolate, and coffee flavors danced across my palate. So good. But no vanilla. Alas.
After enjoying a sampler of Weasel Boy’s beers (go with the stout or the mild—both are excellent), Jeffrey and I hit the road for that long drive back to Dayton. Oh, and before someone gets all smug and clever, and tries to point out that I still participated in the event I’m criticizing, and then uses that to somehow invalidate my comments here, I’ll just note this: stop being 12 and grow up. After all, the event still needed judges, and it’s not like this is the only event pandering to the casual sexism of beer-geek culture. It would be a lot easier if it was. Plus, sexism is much more complex that the simple either/or dichotomy such a response would attempt to draw. Get with the both/and, my man, the both/and. Oh, and results are here.