|Have you ever had it in the Can?|
|Morning before we started....bottling/kegging (right)|
|these are leftovers from the comp....a lot of beer, some quite good|
As a steward, you get to remove the tested beers from the table. If they are not in contention for the best of show round, (not highly scored) you can sample. It is nice, because you can review comments from the judges and taste the exact beer with the exact conditions that they were. I have identified Chloropheonols (plasticy band aid taste/aroma) for the first time....not to say that they haven't been present in my beer....I just can't tell what the problems are. Every once in a while the judges ask your opinion...usually it is no benefit to them, just you.
I stewarded the Stout catagory on Friday, and the Porters on Saturday morning. These were two of the categories with some of the largest numbers of entries.....and it took a long time. On Saturday afternoon, most of the tables were taken by the time I got to it (one, my morning session went long, so I there wasn't a lot of lunch left, and then while I ate, I launched into clearing tables, cleaning up, and restocking the tables for the afternoon session). Most stewards stood around with their heads up their butts waiting for direction....or perhaps they were casing out the categories that they wanted to steward.....either way, I ended up stewarding the dark lager table. This is not a strong suit of mine, and in fact, except for the occasional dunkel at some random brewery, I haven't tasted much since my Michelob Dark days (brightness in the dark days of beer, for sure) in the late 80's or early 90's...when dark was the only alternative to regular. This was the most fortunate part of my experience.
|National Homebrew Competition in action|
|me wondering around the brewery alone|
I also met a person on Friday who only brewed a batch or two (unsuccessfully, I might add) who was there to steward and showed up Saturday afternoon and was conscripted to judge....I didn't steward for him, but from talking to him, felt that they made a poor conscription choice....I didn't see his comments or hear what his experienced judge said, but felt a little sad that I didn't get the chance, as I know I would have done better than him.
|I didn't touch anything|
|this is where all the magic happens....my brewery at home?|
In the future, I think I will try to take the test and judge. But in the meantime, I will see what the next opportunity to steward is. It is fun, but NHC is perhaps too big an event.