Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 27 (8/20/2011): Bloatarian Brewing League Beer and Sweat

On Saturday night, I volunteered at the annual Beer & Sweat homebrew competition put on by the Bloatarian Brewing League. This competition consisted of almost 300 keg submissions from brewers all throughout the Midwest. It was hosted at the Drawbridge Inn and Conference Center in Northern Kentucky.

I did the easy job of selling t-shirts from 3PM-5PM, in exchange receiving entry to taste the beers, a tasting glass, and they even fed me! I made out like a bandit, right?

When I started the shift, judging was still going on, so the hall was still pretty quiet. You can see the huge number of kegs in the tasting hall below. I couldn't wait to go explore once it was 5:00.

Right about when my shift ended, food was put out for the judges, stewards, and volunteers and things got a bit more busy as BBL members started to show up.

They even had a band to keep all of us merry drinkers entertained. During this time, I was perusing (and drinking) the offerings. Of course, in my truly negligent fashion, I took no pictures of any of them and almost no notes.

I do know that one beer stole my heart. I kept returning to it and bringing folks with me. It was a remarkably well-crafted unblended lambic brewed by Chris Meta of the Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers (T.R.A.S.H). Crisp and sour as you could ever want, this was by far my favorite beer of the night. It nailed everything from the funky and tart nose to the mouth-puckering finish. As a fledgling homebrewer, I have no idea what is necessary for making a lambic or wild at home, but he nailed this.

As the clock ticked towards the announcements of the style and overall awards, it got a little packed in there, but never too hot or uncomfortable.

Awards awaiting their rightful recipients

 Raffle board awaiting its winners (Including me!)

Between my buzzed chatting and just plain being buzzed, I didn't catch most of the awards, but two things stand out to me. The first is that Keith Cost won a number of awards, including runner up best of show, with his obnoxiously-named, yet delicious beers. The second, was that Chris Meta's lambic won best of show! In my opinion, it definitely deserved it. Chris: if you ever happen to read this, I'll gladly take any of that off your hands!
Overall, what a tremendous event. Kudos to those at the Bloatarian Brewing League who put this thing together, to those who entered beer which they painstakingly crafted into the competition, and to the volunteers (especially those who were busting their butts at the end of the night). It's hard to beat a night of good beer, but good beer and good company takes the cake every single time. It's was a pleasure to see and meet old  and new acquaintances, respectively. I even won a couple of pint glasses and some brewery swag in the raffle! See you next year!

More info on the Bloatarian Brewing League and Beer & Sweat!

No comments:

Post a Comment