Friday, March 18, 2016

KC Biermeisters Competition Roundup & Pictures

KC Bier Meisters put on another great competition this year. It turned out being the largest competition they've ever put on with 543 entries from 20 states. All of the results of the competition are posted on the competition website. The top honors went to Brad Ebinger in beer for his English Brown Ale, Scot Shaar in mead for his Habenaro/Hatch Pepper Mead, and Elliott Lillard & Belinda Kocen in cider for their English Cider. I think it's an amazing testament to the integrity of the Beer Judge Certification Program that out of 500+ beers, with plenty of sours, stouts, super IPAs, and barrel aged everything, that a mild mannered English Brown Ale can take the top spot at the competition. Bravo, judges.



I personally went into the competition a little bummed at my judging assignments--I judged light lagers and light hybrid beers. That means Bud Light and Boulevard Wheat clones. Those styles where, in the best case, they all taste the same (and don't have much taste at that), or they just taste like any number of off-flavors--mostly butter, creamed corn, and band-aids. Yummy. 

But I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed judging the light beers. For one, I wasn't sauced by the end of the day (the usual result when judging imperial stouts, belgians, or IPAs). And for two, I had some absolutely fantastic beers. The best & highest rated beer I judged turned out to be an American Light Lager (yes--Bud Light clone). Never thought I'd write that! The beer seriously tasted like a much refined and much better tasting version of any of the macro lite beers. If I remember right, I gave it a 45/50, which classifies it as a "world class example of the style." One of the highest scores I've ever given at a competition. Well done, Eric Armstrong of the South Omaha Brewers! 

I also had tons of fun judging with new people and old friends. I even had a great stroke of luck judging alongside Tyrell Foster, the media relations officer for his unit at Ft. Riley, who brought his camera along. I brought mine, but failed to realize that it had no SD card in it... So Tyrell helped me out with pictures of the judging! Check out the gallery on our Facebook page!

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