Monday, August 31, 2009

Malt Madness Awesomeness

I wanted to take a quick moment to give some props to the folks in the Lehigh Valley Homebrewers club whose Malt Madness competition this past weekend was fantastic.

The compettion itself went off without a hitch. The morning session, lunch, afternoon session, BOS round, and awards all flowed in punctual fashion - no small task for a competition with some 450 entries. Absolutely great job by the competition coordinators, judge coordinators, stewards, and judges. And the folks at the Allentown Brewworks put out a really nice spread for us. I've come not to expect much for lunch at most homebrew competitions, but this was a pleasant surprise. I pigged out on salad, a cheeseburger, a pulled pork sandwich (the highlight), and some ziti.

Most importantly, I can't say enough about the homebrew I tasted this past weekend. In the first round I judged a flight of strong Belgian ales. We had a couple of very good trippels, but otherwise I found myself underwhelmed. However, in the afternoon session I was assigned to pilsners and amber lagers. I found myself completely blown away by some of the best homebrew I've ever tasted. We had a German pilsner, Oktoberfest, Vienna lager, and American pilsner that were all top notch. These were beers that I would definitely pay good money to drink a full glass of. As someone who loves to brew lagers and prides himself on their quality, I realize that I've got to step up my game. These eastern PA guys are really brewing some kick ass lagers.

I was lucky enough to place with a couple of brews and come away with a killer prize - a gift certificate to Porter's Pub in Easton! So I was able to treat R to a nice dinner at one of our favorite places. A great weekend!

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