Sunday, February 22, 2009

What did you learn while judging beer?

I had a great time with the beer judging. I got to judge French and Belgian Ales on Friday evening, and Amber Lagers on Saturday. Both times, I was paired with helpful and patient BJCP judges, who helped me out a lot. The funny thing, though, was that on Friday we were missing a judge, so we invited a spectator to participate. She didn't claim to be a beer snob at all, didn't know the styles, and didn't know a thing about judging. In some ways, though, she was a better judge than either of us, since she came to the beers with no preconceptions, and simply responded to what she tasted. With a little guidance from our experienced judge, she was able help us identify flavors and aromas.

It was amazing how glaring some of the flaws were in the beers. Phenols in an Oktoberfest would have been noticeable even if we were only drinking one, but when judged side by side with other examples, you could really pick it up. I guess the lesson to draw from this is that we should all drink a whole lot more beer.

I'm eager to see the results come out . . .

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