|Posted on May 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM|
Quite pleased to announce that my English Old Ale ("Olde Fat Guy") took a 1st place in round one of the National Homebrew Competition. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for continued good luck at the finals in Philadelphia!!!
|Posted on April 22, 2013 at 1:05 AM|
Last year I was fortunate enough to win a Best In Show award with my English Mild Ale. Later, that same recipe was scaled up to a commercial quantity and I got to brew it with Lanny Fetzer at the RAM Restaurant and Brewery in Wheeling, IL. That same beer then went on to earn a Silver medal in the Pro-Am competition at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival. Now, the American Homebrewers Association has selected this recipe as one of three that they are suggesting people brew on National Home Brew Day (May 4th) during their "Big Brew 2013" event. In the spirit of this nationwide event, Midwest Homebrew Supply has created a kit version of my English Mild recipe!!!
|Posted on April 8, 2013 at 1:30 AM|
I will have been brewing beer at home for five years this June, and I am proud to say that today I brewed my 100th batch of beer! It is a Russian Imperial Stout, and should finish up at 10% abv. It will be a big, agressive, roasty, hoppy, strong beer that will continue to get better and better over the next three years...if it lasts that long
|Posted on March 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM|
I have been super busy with work, family obligations, and brewing competitions, but am happy to report some big news!
Yesterday was the annual Chariel Orr Memorial Chicago Cup Competition (hosted by the Brewers Of South Suburbia) and I was fortunate enough to bring home 3rd Best In Show honors for my English Old Ale.
In other news, Saturday May 4th is the 7th annual American Homebrewer's Association "Big Brew Day". This is a nationwide event held each year to promote the hobby of home brewing. On that day, thousands of people across the country will get together at designated locations to brew beer together and share brewing knowledge. I learned yesterday that the American Homebrewer's Association has selected my English mild ale recipe as one that will be promoted for use on this "Big Brew Day". Super cool!
|Posted on February 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM|
In any given calendar year, there are a lot of home brewing competitions throughout the Midwest. Many of these are grouped around the months of January - April, and then some others are held September - December. Needless to say, after winning Midwest Homebrewer of the Year last year I was in a quandry about what I should do in competitions this year. So far I have entered only a couple, but have done very well, so maybe fate is making the decision for me.
Yesterday, I put my newly attained BJCP Judgship to use and helped judge the 2013 BABBLE Brew-Off. The competition was held at the RAM Restauirant & Brewery up in Wheeling, IL. It was a lot of fun and I was also forntunate enough to take home four ribbons!
|Posted on January 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM|
The first half of January has been really wonderful for me. I have been enjoying the notoriety of having my first article published in Zymurgy, and of course brewing some beer. So far in 2013 I have brewed a clone of Unibroue's La Fin du Monde (a Belgian style tripel ale) and a batch of my kolsch with a slight twist on my tried-and-true recipe.
Then my wife and I went on a week long cruise to the Caribbean...and I returned home to learn that I had won 5 medals in the Boneyard Brewoff competition down in Champaign, IL, I received my newly earned credentials as a "Recognized" BJCP Beer Judge, and the announcement was made that I won the title of 2012 Midwest Homebrewer of the Year!
|Posted on December 26, 2012 at 3:30 PM|
On Christmas Eve I was thrilled to receive my January/February issue of Zymurgy magazine, as this is the issue that contains an article I wrote last summer about converting a chest freezer for storing and dispensing kegged beer (kegs + freezer = keezer). Its a large article - 7 pages - and I am really proud of how it turned out.
|Posted on December 10, 2012 at 4:35 PM|
I am hoping with all my might that I will succeed in my year long quest for the Midwest Home Brewer Of The Year title, and thus in 2013 I can brew things that interest me as opposed to always sticking rigidly to a style for the sake of competitions.
Along those lines, today I am crafting my gameplan to brew a clone of the famous La Fin du Monde ale brewed by Unibroue in Quebec, Canada. This ale has always been one of my favorites because it is a delicious Belgian tripel style ale that only costs about half as much as its Belgian cousins because it is brewed right here in North America (no slow, expensive boat ride across the ocean for this beer). Though this beer, with its subtle spicing of orange peel and coriander, doesn't match well against home brew competition guidelines it is quite delicious and I am looking forward to brewing a batch.
As an aside, La Fin du Monde loosely translates to "The end of the world", and thus this beer is quite popular right now with all the hype about the Mayan calendar ending!
|Posted on December 3, 2012 at 10:00 PM|
This evening I kegged my latest batch of English Mild ale so that it will be carbonated in time to serve to friends and family at holiday parties. I also bottled the Russian Imperial Stout. That is a tough style to get right, so I am crossing my fingers that it is good because I have already entered it into a competition in January!
|Posted on November 29, 2012 at 7:40 PM|
The Russian Imperial Stout finished up nicely and is being crash cooled in preparation for bottling. I also brewed a batch of my English mild ale this week, since I have had requests for that one to be served at my work Christmas party. It is a flavorful, low alcohol beer making it perfect for this type of occasion.