Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Beer Judging during ashes tension.

What does one drink during the tensions of Ashes test cricket you may ask? I do have bottle of of single malt single cask whisky in my cabernet that exceeds 50% abv! But this was not touched as last weekend I was to act as an official judge for the World beer awards, where beers from around the world are categorized and compared to be awarded prestigious awards.

I shall note that my achievement of becoming an official beer judge was ascertained at Beer Of the World Live, mentioned on a previous post. Here I entered a competition whereby anyone could write tasting notes on a beer of choice that is available on the day on designated tasting cards. These were put in ballot, and the taster giving the most accurate notes was awarded the chance to be an official taster for the World Beer Awards. After spending half the day filling out numerous tasting cards, and waiting for weeks afterwards with anticipation, I was finally given the news that I had blazed gloriously to triumph and won the competition.

A few days later a box of different beers arrived in the post and the reviewing could begin. The standard was pretty high featuring a good variety of different beer styles including legendary Meantime London Porter, Dark Star Espresso beer, some impressive lagers, and a couple of quality ales from the mighty Rogue brewery. Unlike the ashes first test, the victors were mostly English beers, however the result was a little unfair as nearly half of the samples reviewed were English.

Comparisons between the beers themselves also affected my judgment of score. But this could only really be done between beers of slightly similar characters, examples such as Rogue Smoke ale were completely individual. Which brings me to another idea I had some time ago. In the context of beer judging competitions, I thought, wouldn’t it be great to do (in a sense) a beer battle between breweries. In this the beers from two or more brewers could be reviewed by a panel of judges and whichever brewer gets the highest overall scores wins. Sadly I do not have a panel of judges, and even getting mates and bottles together would be awkward even if it was a bi-monthly thing (especially considering some beers could not be done justice unless/are only available on cask). But alternatively using the opinion and experience of you, the reader, I could gain more votes and opinions. These battles could become even more interesting between rival brewers, or those with something in common, for example Black Sheep vs Theakstons. Who do you think would win (even though its just subjective)? And what other interesting beer battles could you think of?

8 comments:

Leigh said...

I've often seen 'Wars of the Roses' (Yorks vs Lancs) type themes at beer festivals, and being a proud Yorkshireman, that does invoke a spirit of patriotism in my white-rosed heart!!

Rob said...

Acorn, York, Copper Dragon,Black Sheep, Hambletons, Daleside, T Taylors, Sam Smiths and the likes all create a hightened standard of beer quality that other counties can match, but rarely in the same consitancy. I recon the North westeners can give them a run for their money, but I know which side I would back.

Ed said...

Well done on your well deserved victory.

Ian Beer said...

Rob, I have a bottle of Marston's Ashes Ale ready for the third test, Ian Beer

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