Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Nordeast Big River Brew Fest homebrew competition results 2012

The Nordeast Big River Brew Fest homebrew competition, put on by my homebrew club (Nordeast Brewers Alliance), culminated with the sour/wild/brett beer judging and best-in-show judging today along with the announcement of winners for all categories. Check out the image below to see the winners of the competition: I picked up three medals, a silver and two bronze. Check out my scores and the feedback:

Entry # Entry Name Style Score: Flaws and/or what to change:
36 Maibark 05A: Maibock/Helles Bock 30.5  Malt is “one dimensional” – decoction or higher hop profile could help. A bit astringent.
35 Golden Gate Retriever 07B: California Common Beer 29.3 (3rd place)  Could have balanced better with more malt
37 Alba Dog 09E: Strong Scotch Ale 39.5 (2nd place)  Improve attenuation, add “earthiness”
38 Saison Of A Bitch 16C: Saison 31.5 (3rd place)  Ferment higher (than mid/upper-70’s) for more esters, pitch more yeast to keep a healthy ferment, maybe more hops to add balance
34 Rauch! Rauch! 22A: Classic Rauchbier 35.5  More smoke, less carbonation, higher mash tempt / less alcohol

As exciting as taking home medals was the debut of NorthGate Brewing at the festival. One of the founders of NorthGate, Adam Sjogren (on left), is a longtime member of our brew club, so it’s been inspiring to see him take his passion to the commercial level. Go Adam!

I tried a few of their brews, and honestly my favorite was their pumpkin spice seasonal. To be fair, I LOVE pumpkin, so I could be biased. Though it rained for a good portion of the festival, which was humorous as it hasn’t rained in weeks. Perfect timing… It wasn’t terriblycold though, so there’s that. Here’s hoping for sun next year!

I’d like to thank the academy, Charlie Papazian, Ken Grossman…

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