Beer GeekeryThe JRHB meeting last night was a great one. Turns out I misunderstood and we weren't actually judging beers, but learning to judge beers, from an experienced, board-certified beer judge in the club. Still, it was fun.
I also brought along a few bottles of my troublesome Sahti so it could be sampled and commented upon, and to my surprise it had mellowed nicely in the intervening week, and was very well received, with comments like, "clean!" and "wow, you can really taste the juniper - cool!" Everyone was interested in the brewing process, and where I got juniper, and there were even requests to bring more of the stuff on the Brews Cruise on saturday morning, and that I enter it in the Specialty Brew category in the Dominion Cup homebrewing contest in a few months.
It's great to get these sorts of compliments and feedback from guys with real beer-brewing experience. It was also cool to see other newbies blown away by the result. It was a bit of a chest-puffer, too, to hear a guy who signed up right about when I did comment, "Wow, you're a lot more advanced than I am." When I described the recipe and process. He, by the way, brought along a very well-executed Austrian Dunkelbock, done from an all-malt-extract kit - a beer it simply wouldn't have occurred to me to attempt. I hope I've inspired him to try some more advanced recipes; after tasting his Dunkel, I may well fiddle with some Austrian/German recipes myself. (Most German styles [like Bocks] require exacting refrigeration and extensive patience to do correctly, though, being lagers.)