Thursday, March 25, 2010
I sent in 3 beers to NHC - 1st round
In all my years of homebrewing I have continuously procrastinated, chickened out, or gotten sticker shock at the thought of entering the NHC. Well this year might be my last real chance, as I am hoping to be a full time pro brewer by this time next year. I brewed a lot of beer this year, but in the end, I only sent in 3 beers, which I think are really excellent. I probably would have sent in 5 or so, but my AHA membership expired and I didn't have the money to renew it at the time, so the entry fee was a whopping $14 per entry (it's $9 for members).
These beers made the final cut:
Dale's Mild: Brewed by myself and Paul, I actually entered this as a Scottish 70 shilling because the yeast is very clean. It just tasted and smelled a lot like a Scottish 70. We'll see if the judges agree.
Woody: The American oak-aged Barleywine. This was tasting killer 6 months ago, and I haven't had a chance to try it since then, since I had exactly 4 bottles left. I might get to try it if my buddy Fritz breaks out the bottle I gave him while we are in NYC this weekend. 6 months ago, there was a little too much of a harsh oaky finish on an otherwise stellar beer, so I am hoping that the time has been good for it and mellowed it out a bit.
Fresh-hopped Black Saison: The hops have faded substantially, so I called it a black farmhouse ale at 8.1% ABV. Personally I think it has only improved with age.
Other beers that almost made the cut were the Belgian Dark Strong, which is still a little too alcohol-hot and needs some time, and the Belgian Blond, which is pretty darn good, but has too much banana in the nose, and just isn't quite the easily drinkable Belgian ale that a blond should be.
Unfortuanately both the pilsner and the smoked helles that I had such high hopes for have a DMS issue, but the third lager, the Baltic Porter I did with Paul is tasting great and just went in to lagering in a corny.
Who else is entering beers? If you are on the fence, it's time to shit or get off the pot (nice mixed metaphor there)! All entries must be in by April 1st. Good luck!