Sunday, December 14, 2008

Porter Competition

For December's Star City Brewer's Guild meeting we had a 'Porter Competition.' This was the first one we have entered with the Guild, so we were excited. However, our Porter wasn't just a standard Porter, nor was it even a standard Robust Porter. Ours was an Imperial Bourbon Vanilla Porter! So, even though we were eager to enter it, we held no hopes of winning, since it wasn't "to standard."
While I disagree with some of the ratings our beer got, we have to keep in mind that there were 3 different tables of judges, each table with three judges at it. So, you have nine different judges who are coming to conclusions based on whatever personal nuances and opinions they have. Nor did each table get to try every beer, so if you had a table scoring harsher or kinder than the others, then .. well, there you go. This isn't meant as holding any sort of ill-will or anything like that, it is just a statement of facts that can not be taken personally but ought to be noted. Our beer did ok with scoring, though we think it ought to have done better.
One thing though that struck us was the personal reactions we DID get from the judges after the competition was over. Those who had tasted and judged our beer came up to us raving about how wonderful the beer was! This was better, to us anyway, than actually winning the competition.
While we look forward to entering more competitions in the future (and hopefully doing better in them) these past two competitions have given us a lot to ponder. What do WE want out of our beers? What are WE trying to achieve? What is important to US?
We want to use fresh ingredients, brew them well, brew in as great of an eco-friendly manner as possible, and brew beers that people WANT to drink and remember!! Having people coming up to us after the competition expressing regrets that they couldn't/didn't give it higher scores because it wasn't to standard, but saying what a GOOD beer it was, is what we want. We want people to say "wow, now THAT is good!"
So, along those lines, we thought it only appropriate to share a Porter that leaves us with that reaction. From Kona Brewing Company, "Pipeline Porter" --- the description from their website: Pipeline Porter is smooth and dark with a distinctive roasty aroma and earthy complexity from its diverse blends of premium malted barley. This celebration of malt unites with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee grown at Cornwell Estate on Hawaii’s Big Island, lending a unique roasted aroma and flavor. A delicate blend of hops rounds out this palate-pleasing brew.
We couldn't say it better & highly recommend going out, getting a six-pack, and trying it for yourself. Our grade for this beer: Outstanding ... we'd say it'd score easily 45 or higher. Congrats to Kona for such a fantastic Porter!!

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