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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

...and the winner is?

Al's of Hampden held its first-ever homebrew challenge last night (Monday, April 25, 2011), and I was proud to have been selected as one of the judges for the event.  All in all, there were twenty-five entries in the competion.  The eight participating judges were given 3- to 4oz. samples in mini snifters and rated each beer on five key attributes: Aroma, Appearance, Taste, Mouthfeel and "Overall Balls," the latter a term used by Al to describe the potential palate-wrecking ability of each homebrew.  Each category was then weighted accordingly, with Taste being most important (20 points), followed by Aroma (12 points), Balls (10 points), Mouthfeel (5 points) and Appearance (3 points).  If my math is correct, a perfect score would yield 50 points.

Photo by Matt Ney
The entries ran the gamut of very good (there were a few that I wanted to finish, but I knew I had to pace myself) to undrinkable (one sip was all I needed).  Still, I commend all of the brewers who submitted entries for taking part in this contest.  Homebrewing is indeed an art, and, as the old addage goes, practice makes perfect.

Al provided the judges with two huge plates of cucumbers, plenty of drinking water and even fresh bread to cleanse our palates.  Afterwards, as a thank you for our efforts, the judges were treated a pair of cheesesteak pizza pies, two piles of wings and a chicken sub.

Photo by Matt Ney
The Top 3 brewers were as follows:
1.  Brad Moyer (BA Bmoyer0301) and Troy Gadberry (BA TroyG2352)
2.  Adam Stakem (BA stakem)
3.  Joel Bigler (BA Idesofmarch89)

Brad and Troy's winning beer (described as a Mango IPA brewed with 6lbs. of organic mangoes) will be used by Troegs Brewing Company as the basis for an upcoming Scratch beer release, which will eventually become the house Triple IPA at Al's of Hampden when the brewing equipment arrives later this summer.  So, exciting things are boiling up at Al's for the near future!


  1. Congrats to all the winners, I was glad to have had the chance to participate. Thanks to Al for the compliment even though I didn't place. I am sure Troegs will do good things with the recipe when they release it as a Scratch.

  2. mango ipa? oh the humanity...


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