KC Bier Meisters Homebrew Competition Announced Feb. 21-22

(image source KC Bier Meisters)
It's that time of year again, folks. No, I'm not referring to the two-week period when you actually go to the gym on a regular basis. I'm talking about the time when you realize the KC Bier Meisters homebrew competition is just around the corner and you try to madly brew one or two more good beers to enter. The AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition has been announced for February 21st and 22nd, and they will start accepting beer entries this Friday, January 10. Never fear for your last minute beers, though, the registration window goes all the way until February 7. The theme for this year is "Where the Wild Beers Are." Included alongside the normal BJCP categories, there will be two specialty categories that you can enter: American Style Sour Ale, and Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer.

There are some very exciting new things planned this year--the most exciting addition is the Cinder Block scale up prize. The guys from Cinder Block will be on hand to pick out one beer that will be scaled up and brewed on their 15 BBL system. That's right: if you enter a great beer this year, it might end up on tap at Cinder Block a few months from now. They haven't worked out all the details about what category the beer will come from or exactly how the choice will be made yet.

The other highlight of the competition is the annual awards banquet, which has a good looking menu and beer pairings provided throughout for $35 per plate. Jonathan Moxey, former contributor to the Serious Eats: Drinks blog and current brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. If you haven't ever read his stuff on Serious Eats, you should check it out. He's a great writer, and I'm sure he'll be a great presenter as well. Also, as I'm sure you're well aware, he brews kick ass beer at Perennial. His presentation will cover the wild beers theme of the competition.

(image source Riedel Glassware)
In addition to all of this, there is going to be a beer glassware presentation hosted by Riedel. The cost is $25 to attend the session on Saturday afternoon. As part of the price you get one of their Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Gift Sets, currently priced at $41 on Amazon. While this really is probably just a trumped up sales session (at least they're not trying to sell you timeshares), you'll still get a great deal on the glassware, and hopefully a bit of new insight into choosing glassware for your beer.

To make all this happen, KCBM needs you! The registration for volunteers is already open on the competition website. If you've never judged or stewarded before, the KCBM competition is a great place to start. For one, they really take care of their volunteers. Perennial and 4 Hands have already committed to donating several beers for the volunteers to partake in (along with the banquet attendees, of course), and it's rumored that 4 Hands will be pulling some super special beers out of their cellars for the occasion. It's still too early to have a final list of all the beers on tap at the event, but in the past years we've seen beer from Boulevard, Tallgrass, Free State, and Blind Tiger, along with all kinds of homebrews. KCBM also provides dinner on Friday night, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday free of charge. This is all not to mention that the members running the show do a great job of organizing the event. I've heard from a lot of people that it's their favorite competition to judge each year because of this.

I'm already signed up for judging. I know that at least a few of our anonymous friends out there would like to give me some friendly comments in person, so sign up and maybe we'll get to judge together!

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