I had to go to the SNAFU (Southern Nevada Ale Fermenters Union) meeting tonight. Our SNAFU Memorial Competition is next weekend and I wanted to hear if there was any late breaking news. Turns out that since I registered my Belgian Wit the week before last, the number of entries has doubled. My entry was #72 and now there are 145 entries. There are so many that they are going to start judging on Friday night, instead of waiting until the main event at Tenaya Creek Brewery.
This is my first competition, so I'm mostly in it for the feedback, without much illusion of coming in first in any of my categories - Baltic Porter, Saison, Belgian Wit, Munich Dunkel and American Pale Ale.
Tonight pretty much confirmed my suspicions. Our meetings are a mini-festival of sharing brews with a few garbled announcements and a raffle thrown in for formality's sake. The first one I tried was Dogfish Head's Noble Rot. Rot it was. After reading the description on DH's website, http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occasional-rarities/noble-rot.htm, it is a pretty complex combination of brewing and vinting. It really tasted like the grapes went to vinegar. It is possible that this brew was too far past its prime. I can't imagine they would have sent it out that way.
During the raffle, my LBHS proprietor, Steve, won a bunch of bottles. He popped open a Duck Rabbit schwartzbier which did not disappoint - very roast, smokey flavor. Then our home brewers started popping open their brews. One of our members is a former brewer at Joseph James Brewery and he poured a reddish-amber ale that was both hoppy and malty with a perfect color. It must be a seasonal that they brew, because it's not on their website. http://www.duckrabbitbrewery.com/beers.html
Another fellow who used to work at the LBHS and has several refrigerators full of home brew, poured his dry stout that was fairly thick and with an absolutely amazing toffee flavor.
Then came a raspberry mead that had been aged for 14 months. Could not taste the honey at all, as I imagine it had all fermented from the champagne yeast that brewer used.
Finally, one other fellow produced his cherry saison, and all I can say is thank goodness it didn't carbonate well. I sure wouldn't want my saison going up against it in the competiton. He flash boiled and froze 4 lbs of cherries, then put them in his 5 gallon carboy with the wort. It could have passed for a lambic, it was that good.
Absolutely overall the best brews passed around at a meeting, notwithstanding the Noble Rot.
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