Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beergeekery is Everywhere

Last week I had the opportunity to watch the 2011 homebrew “Best in Show” competition at the Oregon State Fair. Being a self proclaimed #pdxbeergeek, how could I say no?

David Swisher setting up
The judges are all members of the craft beer scene, and well respected for what they do. The four person panel consisted of Darron Welch (Pelican Pub and Brewery), Mike Paladino (head brewer with The RAM in Salem), Lisa Morrison (The BeerGoddess), and Master Judge Ted Hausotter.

left to right - Paladino, Morris, Welch, and Hausotter

Before the competition began the question was asked “How many are home brewers?” Over three quarters of the audience raised their hands. Also it was mentioned it was nice to be back at the state fair, and about being back to stay. This is in reference to a break in 2010 due to an obscure OLCC law.

Twenty-six categories of different beer styles all competing to be the best in show. I had never actually attended one of these, so it was fun to watch the judges describe each style and listen to their opinions about each beer. One of the best lines from the event. “You never know what’s behind a bock until your cheeks get warm, and legs get shaky.”

Congratulations to David Swisher for his Best of Show win with a dark lager named “In My Schwartz” David won several other awards from the event, but I started to lose count around four or five. For a complete list of winners from this year click here.

Gregg & Terissa of Claddagh Ring Brewing
Another great highlight of the day was meeting other people who share a love of craft beer. I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of meeting Gregg & Terissa Watson of Dundee, OR. They are the face of Claddagh Ring Brewing. Oregon newest up and coming nano brewery (hopefully after dealing with the OLCC) Also winners of two blue ribbons with “Black Out Stout” and “Watsons Strong English Bitter” I personally cannot wait to see what Claddagh has to bring to the table. I bet it’s good though.

Until next time please remember “Once a beer geek, always a beer geek.” #pdxbeergeeks4life