Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Mayfaire!

This news is rather late, as the competition was held more than a month ago. But it is still the month of May, and there's never a bad time to report happy results. The Maltose Falcons of Los Angeles are widely recognized as the USA's oldest homebrew club, and their annual Mayfaire is one of the country's most prestigious regional competitions, attracting more than 350 entries this year. I'm very pleased to announce that two of my beers placed: my Tripel Chainring ale took 3rd place in the Belgian-style Abbey Ale category, and my Bicycle Wheat took 1st place (!) in the American Wheat/Cream Ale category--my first-ever blue ribbon. I also entered both beers in the AHA Nationals. While neither advanced out of the first round, both received complimentary remarks and relatively high scores from the judges: the Wheat earning a "Silver" certificate, and the Tripel Chainring earning a "Gold".

You Know You're a Brewer When ...

... things start smelling to you like Pacific Northwest hops, rather than citrus. I have an orange-scented reed diffuser in my office, to help cut down on the locker-room odor that would otherwise build up given my habit of laying sweating cycling clothes out to dry--one of the hazards of being a bike commuter. The diffuser works great, so well that there are days when I walk into my office and am pleasantly surprised by the pleasant aroma of freshly peeled oranges upon opening the door. At least I used to be surprised by the aroma of oranges, because now it's the aroma of Cascade or Amarillo hops that my brain thinks it's sensing--almost like opening a bottle of a fine West Coast IPA--which isn't a bad surprise at all in the middle of a work day, even if it is just a fleeting tease of the real thing.