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<brag mode on>
Maybe the Mayans were right and 2012 is indeed it because I’m not sure I could have a better beer weekend than this past one. Everything from Chad Yakobson’s awesome talk – to me winning best of show – to a late night Waffle House group run that included “chocolate-peanut butter-bacon-maple syrup covered pecan waffles”… with a side of bacon. Yep it was that kind of weekend.

Chad Yakobson’s Brettanomyces Presentation

The annual competition weekend started off with a bang this year. An awesome catered dinner by one of the best BBQ guys around serving up Ribs and Brisket. The guest speaker this year was Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave in Denver, Colorado. Fresh off a Great American Beer Festival win Chad dropped some serious knowledge during his talk. The talk mostly centered around Brettanomyces…facts vs fiction and how to get the most out of Brett in your brewing process. Topics such as their barrel aging/foudre process, brewing with bacterias, mixed fermentations with Sacchromyces strains, and classic Saisons were also covered during the 60 minute talk.

The Q and A session afterwards was pretty awesome too, I saw a couple of people who I know are “Brett-aphobes” asking interesting questions. In talking to some of the attendees  after dinner they had a new outlook on Brettanomyces, sour beers and the barrel fermentation process.

Oh did I mention that every person who attended the dinner and Chad’s presentation got to try some Crooked Stave beers?!?!?  Not only did we get to try the ample samples of Oculus, GABF Award winning Sentience, and Surette…there was some Persica for a limited sampling! Once again people who have shied away from the funk were actually enjoying their samples and talking about the characteristics of those beers in a positive way! I didn’t see any beer left in the sample cups and many were asking for more…Just one way the funk was embraced this past weekend.

There will be video of Chad’s presentation posted on the club’s Youtube page, but that probably won’t happen until next week at the earliest.

Now onto the awards! Last year I was really excited about winning 2 of the 3 awards in the sour category and my Flanders Red almost winning a 3rd place Best Of Show (it got an honorable mention). I had hoped the tides of competition were turning when a sour almost cracked the top 3 overall. Well this year it actually happened!

My Flanders Brown (The Reverse Apache Master) took the top spot as Best of Show scoring a 47! I will get an engraved plaque in a few weeks, but for now this gift certificate will do…haha. I also swept the sour category winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd! I was shocked when they called my name out that many times for category 17. However the funk wild dominance didn’t stop there, I won gold in 2 other categories with Brettanomyces beers…here is my final medal count:

Best of Show- The Reverse Apache Master (Oud Bruin)

  • Belgian & French Ales 1st- La Flama Blanca (Brett Saison)
  • Sour- 1st The Reverse Apache Master (Oud Bruin), 2nd- The Bulletproof Tiger,(Lambic), 3rd- Cripple Kriek (Kriek)
  • Belgian Strong Ales 3rd- Westy Whatever (Belgian Dark Strong)
  • Fruit Beers- 1st Purple Drank (Cherry Dubbel)
  • Wood Aged Beers- 1st – Oaked up Lil Nugget (Old Ale with Brett L on Hungarian Oak)

Saturday night after the awards ceremony was the pro night and club crawl where some great local beer was served up. It was great catching up some fellow brewers who I only get to see once year. I’m still at a loss for words about winning BOS…but I’ll leave you with this quote from Chad during the awards about sitting next to me and my buddy Marc (who also won 7 medals and 3rd place BOS): “It’s like sitting next to Firestone Walker and Pizza Port during GABF…haha”

Hope you guys had a great weekend too. Cheers and I hope to see you at next years event!

Marc – Chad – Me

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