Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday in Allentown for the LVHB competition

R was kind enough to accompany me to Allentown yesterday for the Lehigh Valley Homebrewers' Malt Madness competition held at the Allentown Brew Works. We braved Hanna and drove out to eastern PA at the crack of dawn. (Personally, I thought the whole Hanna thing was way over blow. Sure, it was a rainy day and all, but where were the torrential downpours? The sustained winds?)

First of all, magnificent job by the folks in the LVHB for running a great competition. Everything was on time and moved quickly. We were hooked up with breakfast and lunch, which is always appreciated. And second, it's really great to see a place like the Brew Works being so supportive of the homebrewers. They were really very accomodating, so I tip my hat to them too.

I judged strong Belgians in the morning and Saisons in the afternoon. (I really have to start brewing these styles so that I don't wind up judging them in EVERY competition.) Though none of the entries were really mind blowing, I was very impressed at the lack of stinkers. Of the 26 or so beers that I judged, there were maybe only one or two that were poor. So great job by all of the homebrewers out there whose beer I was lucky enough to sample.

Your favorite author had a nice showing at the competition with a first and a second for an American Pale Ale and ESB respectively. The competition had some generous sponsorship, so I snagged a gift certificate to Porter's Pub in Easton and treated R to dinner immediately following our stay at the Brew Works. If you've never been to Porter's Pub, go. Go now. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, go directly to Porter's Pub. The beer selection is great and the food is even better. And the gift certificate covered an app, a sandwich, an entree, three beers, and a soda. The turkey dinner sandwich is truly a thing of beauty. What a great spot.

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