UPDATE, Sept. 22: The results are in! For the second year in a row, an Illinois brew wins the Grand Prize. Racine brewmasters won 29 medals, including 12 first prizes. See below...
As if Saturday's Brew Fest was not enough, the Schooner Homebrew Competition went on full bore today.
Thirty beer judges started at 8 a.m. this morning (Yes, beer for breakfast!) judging the last of 517 entries from all over the country... bottles of homebrew in many categories. Judging actually started two days ago.
They were huddled in the basement of D.P. Wigley, sitting two or three at a table, going through dozens of bottles brought in from all over the country via FedEx and UPS (No, the Postal Service won't deliver beer.) Many of the judges were BJCP-certified (via the Beer Judge Certification Program). Its guidelines fill a 66-page booklet, describing the standards for 28 types of beer, mead and cider.
The beers judged today included European Amber Lager, Oatmeal Stout, English Brown, Weizen, Belgian Blonde, Fruit Beer, and many more. Sad to say, there was much "alcohol abuse" ... judges carefully eyeball the beer to check its color and texture, sniff it, slosh it around in a glass -- and barely taste it. Most is thrown away.
Rick McNabb of Union Grove, steward and competition organizer, said the Schooner Homebrew Championship drew entries from 17 states, including two cases from the St. Louis homebrew club. The club with the most medal-winning beers earns a $250 prize; all winners earn a medal. The competition is run by three area homebrew clubs: the Belle City Home Brewers, the Beer Barons of Milwaukee and the Kenosha Bidal Society.
But the big prize won't be awarded until next week: All of the entrants submitted two bottles of each beer, and the second bottle from each of the Schooner medal winners will go on to compete at Milwaukee's Rock Bottom Brewery. The best-of-show winner there will be brewed commercially. Next week's winning brewmaster will get a half-barrel of the winning beer, a party for 20, a professionally-designed label ... and, of course, bragging rights that will last at least until next year.
Results from the Rock Bottom Brewery:
1st place: Brett Wilkes - Algonquin, IL - Imperial brown Ale
2nd place: Brian Hanold - Oconomowoc, WI- Scottish 60
3rd Place: Kevin Flynn - Racine, WI - Cherry Ale
|CIDER - Steve Olsen - Menasha, WI - Griffen Cider|
|MEAD - Ryan Verkennis, Blaine, MN - Viking Mead|
|SAKE - Doug Zobel, Oak Park, IL - Junmai Sake|
COMPLETE RESULTS -- all 500+ entries -- HERE.