The results fo the MSF Homebrew Competitions are now posted here. Just click on the button labeled, "results". As you will see when you scan the winners of the different categories, several very good homebrewers won multiple awards at the Michigan State Fair this year. Some of the most successful brewers were, Kirk Rowland, John Applegarth, Jeff Carlson, David Coleman, Phillip Campbell and Robert Krieger. My Brewing Club, The Pontiac Brew Tribe scored with three medals and an honorable mention, thanks to Dale Markwardt's excellent showing of one First Place for his Belgian Trippel and a Third Place in the American Barleywine category, as well as an Honorable Mention in the American Pale Ale category. Way to go, Dale!
In an effort to bolster the public's consumption in good beer, not to mention local beer, these competitions and beer judging in general, are wonderful exercises. The next time you try a beer, even one of the fizzy, yellow sodas that comprise most American examples, try to evaluate it for taste, color, aroma and appearance. Be aware of the subtle hints of barley malt, hops and unexpected aromas and flavors which can range from fruity to caramel to biscuity. See if you can pick out flavors and aromas in one beer style that are not present in another. Go to a local beer store that sells craft brewed beer and mix-and-match a six pack, and perhaps over a card game or a sporting event on TV, join your friends in evaluating a beer or two using these criteria. It's fun and educational.
Watch for some links at this blog to further enhance the beer drinking experience.
Beer. It's not just for getting drunk on anymore! It is a handcrafted drink that enhances the dining experience and provides enjoyment and entertainment. Think of it in the same way oenophiles think of wine. It's really all the same sensory experience.