Thursday, November 20, 2014

Life of a BJCP Judge - MALT Turkey Shoot 2014

This past weekend I volunteered as a judge for the MALT Turkey Shoot homebrew competition held at the Peabody Heights Coop brewery in Baltimore, Maryland.  The annual competition hosted by MALT (Maryland Ale and Lager Technicians) is a big fall competition for my area.  I judged this competition for the first time last year, where it was also held at Peabody Heights.  I have been told by some veteran participants this competition used to be held at Heavy Seas (formerly Clipper city) and it was always VERY cold!  Last year, the first which the competition was held at Peabody Heights, wasn't too bad, but this year it was pretty cold.  Good thing I wore my coat and hat!  When I arrived (it was high 20s (Fahrenheit) that day?) all the doors were open to air out the smell of beer and cardboard which was permeating throughout the brewery.  As 9am rolled around and we were preparing to judge, the executive decision was made to deal with the smell rather than the cold. Thank goodness!  Everyone seemed to get accustomed to the smell very quickly, but it took a while to warm up.

Whenever you register to judge a BJCP competition you are usually given a choice to state any categories you would, or would not prefer to judge.  I really have no preference as I enjoy most of the styles.  I may, however, request not to do porters and stouts in the future, as I have been assigned to this category for the past 3 competitions. In the morning I got to judge Category 10 - American Pale Ale and American Amber Ales.  In the afternoon I judged the aforementioned mixed Category 12/13 of Porters and Stouts.  In that afternoon session, we had an American Stout which unfortunately ended up being a "gusher."  This beer had a strong clove character, to the point I am almost wondering if it was intentional, and intended as a "Christmas stout."  If that was not the case, than it was an unfortunate infection.

I have been wanting to start publishing some video based content to the blog, but I always forget to record something, or the recording is poor quality.  Enough EXCUSES I say!  I am going to start pushing out some video whether its ready or not.  My hope is to be able to slowly learn/improve on editing and quality as I go - so go easy on this phone recorded video.  This is a quick clip of opening a gusher at a competition.  Occasionally this will happen at a competition and as judges we always request the 2nd bottle to give the entry a fair chance if there was just a single bad bottle.  I had my friend a fellow judge of this beer, Ed, film opening the 2nd bottle.






2 comments:

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