First and foremost, here are the results of 2007’s Upper Mississippi Mash-Out.
I volunteered as a steward on Friday evening and assisted three judges who were judging Belgian Strong Ales (Blondes, Dubbels, Tripels, Golden Strong and Dark Strong). I think I took my role a little too seriously, attempting to avoid any stupid mistakes and hoping not to piss anyone off. Needless to say, everything went smoothly and I probably learned a few things. Next year I’ll probably volunteer more than just one night.
Volunteering came with perks, of course, and I enjoyed some homebrew and some pro beer at the volunteer-only indoor pub crawl after judging and took home a bomber of last year’s “Best of Show” (a Kolsch… haven’t tasted it yet…) and a nice commemorative glass. I felt a little under the weather this weekend and didn’t spend a lot of time at the pub crawl, but still managed to taste a few good beers before heading home. I missed Saturday’s “Pro-brewer Forum” and the banquet and awards ceremony that followed, but I have no doubt that it was a good time.
In case you didn’t look closely at the results, take note… I took second place in the “New Entrant” category. (And yes, there were more than two entrants in the category… there were actually 24.) My Saison and American IPA didn’t fare as well, I guess, but I wasn’t expecting anything more than some impartial feedback from someone other than a friend or family member. Incidentally, the name of the beer, Superhopper, was conceived by my friend Todd (some of you might be familiar with a band he played with, Anchorhead) about a year ago when I threw this recipe together in order to teach him how to brew. I let him choose the name, and he named it after his friends’ band, Superhopper. Rumor has it that the name also had something to do with hops, but I can’t substantiate that…
In any case, a big thanks goes out to everyone who worked so hard to make this year’s Mash-Out a good time. I’ve been inspired to join the Minnesota Home Brewer’s Association and I’m looking forward to next year!