Man-O'-War (n) - a warship powered by sails and equipped with many heavy guns. Brewery (n) - a place where beer, ale, etc. are brewed.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Man O'War IPA - Best in Show
That's right! You're looking at a winner!
Having arrived in Westport around lunchtime yesterday, my wife and I quickly unpacked the cars, dumped the kids off on my mother and her sisters, and bolted up to Swansea, MA to hear the Yankee Spirits 2009 Home Brew Contest results.
It proved to be a harrowing experience. The winners were being announced as part of their 1-4 pm beer tasting, where they had several breweries (20+) offering tastings, as well as a New England Patriots cheerleader signing posters for customers while they stared at her breasts. Or at least that's what I did.
To make a long story short we first heard winners were being announced at 2 pm, so we took off and grabbed some lunch and came back just before 2. Walked around, sampled some beers, got impatient, asked again, heard it was happening at 3 pm. I guess we could have waited around another 40 minutes, but we didn't want to taste too much (had to drive about half an hour to get back to Horseneck Beach) and hey - there was ocean, waves, and fun waiting for us. Knowing they'd contact me if I won anything, we left (after purchasing a suitable amount of alcohol for the beach weekend).
I was annoyed, a bit. More at having to wait, and sort of wanting to wait longer but not wanting to hang around a liquor store soaking up promotions. In reality, if I had done my homework and called before we went I wouldn't have wasted as much time.
Anyway - weekend at the beach is great, it's 4:30 this afternoon - with me heading back up to Boston after dinner while my wife and kids spend the rest of the week on the beach - and my iPhone rings with a number I don't recognize.
After the pleasantries, the nice lady on the other end tells me she wishes to congratulate me, as my beer (now called Man O'War IPA thanks to my cousin James) had won Best in Show by a unanimous vote. I was on the porch, in a fairly quiet beach community, and I think I shouted an expletive. Actually, I'm pretty sure I did given the look I got from the neighbors. So there's a $100 gift certificate waiting for my pickup. I'll get it this weekend...and quite possibly spend it!
If I can find someone to do so, I may have the beer judged by BJCP regulations just to see how it stacks up. But it doesn't bug me that they didn't use them there. They were just people who know and like beer who wanted to drink some and judge it. And isn't that how you pick the beer you like anyway?
Enough crowing. I said when I bottled this one it was a keeper, and it is. I'm shut down from brewing for at least a couple more months, but once I'm moved back to RI and in place, this will be the first recipe I make.
I love the great age of fighting sail. I love to brew beer. I made this blog to document the resurrection of my home brewing hobby and drone on about my love of naval history and square-rigged sailing. I am far from being an expert brewer, I'm a complete amateur when it comes to sailing, and I don't have a history degree...but this is a blog, not a text book, so why should that stop me? Thanks for coming, please leave a comment and tell me what you think.
Chocolate Porter (Name TBD) Status: Bottle Conditioning OG: 1.050 SG: 1.018 (as of 24 Jan 09) FG: 1.015 Notes: Approx. 4.8% ABV - FG is a bit high for the OG. We'll see how it tastes.
India Pale Ale (Name TBD) Status: In Secondary OG: 1.066 SG: 1.016 (as of 13 Feb 09) FG: 1.013 Notes: Approx. 7% ABV. Good body, good bitterness. In short, this one looks like a keeper.
Fruit Ale (Name TBD) Status: In Secondary OG: 1.051 FG: 1.010 (as of 07 Mar 09. Before fruit addition) Notes: Completely on a lark. Med-low bitterness and aroma from noble hops. Boiled with (blood) orange zest. Secondary fermentation will be with 6 8 lbs of pureed mango. Beautiful amber-copper color so far. 5.6% ABV at the time mango was added; accurately determining final ABV at bottling will not be possible, so I won't bother.