On August 16 HEARTLAND BREWERY held a homebrew contest at their Empire State Building location. B.R. was on the panel of judges who selected a Cascadian Dark IPA as the best of show. The BOS prize? Brew a 15 barrel batch of the beer with Kelly, and have the beer featured at some of the 7 Heartland pubs throughout the city!
|Some of the entries after the contest|
|Who are YOU to judge?!|
There were about 50 entries from homebrewers throughout the city and the judges were a mix of professional brewers, beer writers, beer judges, and others from the beer world. Since it wasn't a sanctioned BJCP/AHA contest, we didn't fill out scoresheets to return to the entrants. Instead, each judge personally judged 4 beers and put forth the best of the 4 to the group of judges at their table. The tables then voted on their top choice and those beers proceeded to be be judged by all of the judges. As well as objective judging based on stylistic accuracy and lack of obvious flaws, we were also encouraged to add a subjective element, keeping in mind that the beer would be brewed for the public. As Kelly told us, "is it something you'd want to drink?" As much as I was hoping that I could sabotage the contest and push a crazy beer like a Mango-Rutabaga-Cinnamon Stout that Kelly would be forced to brew, there was luckily (luckily for Kelly!) nothing too outlandish among the entrants.
The beers that made it to the final round were a clean British Bitter that came in a close second, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and the eventual winner, an Imperial Cascadian Dark IPA. Congratulations to the winner and cheers to a great job by the rest of the contestants!
There was also a ticketed People's Choice event, open to the public. Homebrewers brought samples of their beer - some of which were entered in the official contest - and the attendees voted for their favorite beer. The winner of the People's Choice was a Belgian specialty ale.
Thanks to Heartland for supporting the local homebrewing scene; let's hope they make this an annual event!