UpCup 2013 Revisited

UpCup 2013 was a blast this year. Beer Is My Passion had four entries including an American Barleywine (Kyle Alder), an English IPA Spruce Beer (Michael Mustin), a Wood Aged Old Ale (Erik Howell), and a Southern English Brown (Jenn Myers). Upland really knows how to host an awesome homebrewing event. This is by far my favorite competition of the year. We all enjoyed Upland beer on tap, good conversation with  brewers from around the state, and awesome food catered by Upland. This year’s UpCup winner was homebrewer and beer judge Thomas Wallbank of the Indianapolis Foam Blowers with a Berliner Weisse. He’ll have his name added on the UpCup trophy with the other winners, and he’ll get to keep it until next year’s competition. Second place went to Ron Smith’s Saison, also a Foam Blower and beer judge. I’m very happy to announce that our own Jenn Myers ended up taking third place with her 221b Baker St. Southern English Brown this year 🙂 If you happen to bump into her make sure to congratulate her. We’re all super proud of her!

IMG_0620Here’s Jenn just after they announced she had taken third place.


Jenn received a free case of any Upland beer of her choice out of Upland’s massive beer cave. Rad Red? Don’t mind if I do 🙂

We all had an awesome time, and as you can see from some of the pictures there may have even been some kung fu fighting in the parking lot 🙂 BIMP later took the party to The Tap for some celebratory brews.

King of Beers American Lager/Pilsner Results!

American Lager-Pilsner Scores 01American Lager-Pilsner Scores 02American Lager-Pilsner Scores 03American Lager-Pilsner Scores 04

This tasting was definitely one of the weirdest events I think I’ve ever done. While I thought I had prepared myself for this one the best I could have, I can’t remember the last time I’d had so many mediocre beers in one sitting. As you can see we did come up with a winner, however the highest score in the entire event was just below a 6. I had a feeling when we originally planned this event that Budweiser aka The King of Beers would not score very high (and it almost lost the entire event). From what I gather on the scores, the beers in this style that our judges enjoyed the most had a more pronounced hop profile than the others. According to BJCP’s flavor description by style for Classic American Pilsner and Lite, Standard, and Premium American Lager, these beers all have hop profiles that range from none to low. Are we tired of drinking American Lagers in America, or do we just need a break from this mild, slightly malty libation? American Lagers/Pilsners used to be the beer of choice in this country (or should I say the only available choice), but as you can see from this tasting this has changed. While macrobrewed beer had it’s place (and some would say necessity during the years of World War II) in history, micro-brewed beer tends to be the preferred option. Support your local breweries so that we can avoid macro-brewed beer from taking away your choices. Just try to imagine a world without beer caves… I’m getting nervous just thinking about it 🙂

Stout Bout Homebrew Competition Revisited

Thanks to all that made the Stout Bout Homebrew Competition at Great Fermentations such an awesome time! There were 10 great beers served, several of which beat out Hoppin’ Frog’s BORIS The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout (a 2-time gold medalist at the Great American Beer Festival that I snuck in for kicks) in our blind tasting. Our top three homebrews selected this go-round were Josh and Ashley Jenkins’ Milk Stout, Doug Dixon’s American Stout, and Michael Catlin’s Breakfast Russian Imperial Stout. Great work guys! The entries were pretty spread out (we had entries for 5 of the 6 recognized BJCP stout categories), with two Russian Imperial Stouts (one was aged for 2 years), 3 Oatmeal Stouts, 2 Milk/Sweet Stouts, a Dry Stout, and an American Stout. Thanks again to Great Fermentations for lending us their classroom, and also to cosIT Photography for the outstanding camerawork. More photos can be found in a set on cosIT’s Flicker Photostream. Cheers!

Winners Announced for The Great American Beer Festival

Winners for the Great American Beer Festival were announced yesterday after 3 days of judging. The GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world, with over 2,700 different beers from over 500 different American breweries, covering over 84 different categories/subcategories (here’s a very detailed list of categories and their descriptions found on the GABF website). Judges select their top three picks per style in this massive blind tasting. The winners are awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. There were several Indiana breweries among the winners this year. Sun King Brewing Company (Johan the Barleywine and Pappy Van Muckle), Upland Brewing Company (Sour Reserve), Mad Anthony (Ruby Raspberry Wheat), Bier Brewery (Sanitarium), Three Floyd’s Brewing Company (Zombie Dust), and The Ram Brewing Company (Anaheim IPA). Make sure to congratulate these guys on all their hard work. You can find a full listing of the winners here.