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2 weekends ago was the 16th Annual Music City Brewoff competition. It was a great weekend, if you have never been…. think about it for next year. It’s a weekend where homebrewers from all over come to Nashville and take over the hotel convention space.

Gordon Strong and me judging Schwarzbiers

Friday typically has a judging session in the early afternoon for BJCP judges who want to get the most points for the weekend. Later there is a catered dinner with a great guest speaker, this year it was BJCP President Gordon Strong speaking on “Brewing Better Beer” (previous 3 years guests 2008-Jamil Zanisheff, 2009-John Palmer, 2010-Dave Miller). This year everyone who bought a ticket to the dinner also got MCBO snifter. I brewed the commemorative beer for this year so they also got their choice of a 750ml bottle of Traditional Belgian Dubbel or (and I know this won’t shock anyone) the same recipe, but funked…A majority of people chose the soured version. I was happy to see people embracing the funk! Post dinner is a relaxing evening hanging out with other brewers and having a few beers. I was happy to see all the people who would be judging kept their pallets in check that night for the next morning.

Gordon's presentation on "Brewing Better Beer"

Saturday is the bulk of the judging with the awards ceremony and raffle in the early evening followed by an awesome homebrewer club crawl in the convention space.  Clubs from other states bring their tap systems and have a mini-NHC of sorts. 60-70 different beers along with all the local breweries being represented. Oh and the prizes and raffle are great! I saw 4 different kinds of new malt mills, cases of beers, 750ml beers, taps, tons of Candi Syrups, a complete set of stainless steel QD’s for your brewery and even a Sierra Nevada quilt and more. Anyway it is a great weekend and something to put on your calendar for next year.

So where is the sour in all this?!?! Well as the title of this entry suggests winning doesn’t suck (something Gordon said during the weekend). I’m proud to say I had my best sour beer winning streak yet! In addition to winning medals in a few categories I also had the privilege to taste a bunch of commercial sours I haven’t had access to along with some great homebrews too!

1st Place Flanders Red

1st Place in Sour Ales, 4th place Best of Show HM- “Hello, My Name Is Flanders” (Flanders Red)

Berliner Weisse (Gordon scored it at a 46)

2nd Place in Sour Ales, “F#*k your Dumb Wheat Beer” (Berliner Weisse) This is the same recipe that took a 2nd place during the NHC regional. I also have to brag on my buddy Tom Gentry who scored 3rd place in sours for his Berliner Weisse!

1st place Wood Aged- “Oaked Up Lil Nugget” (Old Ale with Brett Lambicus) I wrote about this batch here. And finally I had 1 non sour beer win….3rd place Fruit Beer “Purple Drank” (Abbey Brown with Cherries).

Gordon Strong's layout when judging Best of Show

I’m pretty excited about the results. I also got some great feedback on 2 of my beers that scored good but I’m hoping will come around in another few months. As far as actual results go, my lowest score was 31 so I’ll take that! A great weekend meeting new people who share my same passion for quality beer and fun!