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Bluebonnet Homebrew Contest First Round Judging

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  • Bluebonnet Homebrew Contest First Round Judging

    Well, I'm off to a day of homebrew judging...first round is always a bit dodgy due to the you never know what you will get issue. On the other hand, there are always a few brews that are as good as you will ever find anywhere!

    For those that don't know, the Bluebonnet is the largest single site homebrew contest in the country (perhaps world). They typically attract 1,000+ entries. To move up in size you have to enter AHA Nationals, but that is a multi-site first round.

    I always judge with my buddy Darrell...he and I were back to back Bluebonnet Directors back in the day and while we don't really enter or help with administration, we always make it a point to judge a few flights in the first round. Plus we get that celebrity status walking in!!! Right...
    Tweak City Audio WAF-1, Paradigm PS1000, Jolida FX-10 tube amp, Samsung Blu-ray, Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Apple Airport Express (living room)

    Hawthorne Audio 101515 OB Trio DIY speakers, DIY Bottlehead Stereomour 2A3 amp, DIY 6CL6 SPUD amp, Rythmik 370 OB Plate Amps (in stereo), Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Macbook Pro/iTunes & Decibel FLAC player for Mac, Sony S370 Blu-ray (listening room)

    Other stuff: Usher S-520, JohnBlue JB-3, MiniWatt, Glow Amp One, Nuforce Icon Mobile, Sennheiser HD595

  • #2
    Well, this year's entries number 1,603! Good times...
    Tweak City Audio WAF-1, Paradigm PS1000, Jolida FX-10 tube amp, Samsung Blu-ray, Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Apple Airport Express (living room)

    Hawthorne Audio 101515 OB Trio DIY speakers, DIY Bottlehead Stereomour 2A3 amp, DIY 6CL6 SPUD amp, Rythmik 370 OB Plate Amps (in stereo), Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Macbook Pro/iTunes & Decibel FLAC player for Mac, Sony S370 Blu-ray (listening room)

    Other stuff: Usher S-520, JohnBlue JB-3, MiniWatt, Glow Amp One, Nuforce Icon Mobile, Sennheiser HD595

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    • #3
      I was about to reply to this the other day but got side tracked. I bet this was a really good time!
      Coach Pat Summitt - Folding at Home

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      • #4
        Yes, it was great! We got there late, so we only had time to judge one flight before they finished up. We judged American Barley Wine which is a high alcohol/hops ale just to help with a tough category to get judged.

        The 1,603 entries are divided up into 168 flights for the first round which takes two weeks to get through. Then second round is judged the weekend of the actual Bluebonnet when the top 6-10 beers in each category are placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd.

        Then the head judge and the three top judges select best of show from the 30 or so 1st place beers. I have had the luck to be in four of those best of show selection either as an invited judge or as head judge for the event. It is truly an amazing process to divide the beers into two sets of 15 throw out any beer you taste that isn't perfect. Then the top 3-5 from each set is switched and any more get thrown out. Then the ranking to get best of show, 1st runner up, and second runner up begins. This is when it gets really deep with arguments about the kind of hop variety, which commercial example is the better measure of the style, the intangibles of how hard a particular style is to get right, and ultimately what four people can agree is the best beer of the night.

        And then we went to the Rugby House Pub and sat at the bar and ate Irish bar food, drank dogfish head 60 and 90, and tried to keep the hot bartender busy with constant questions, refills, water, extra salty snacks, questions about the various beers on tap, and if her name was Stella (she was wearing a wifebeater and we, by that time, thought we were pretty smart with the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof reference). Good times indeed....
        Tweak City Audio WAF-1, Paradigm PS1000, Jolida FX-10 tube amp, Samsung Blu-ray, Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Apple Airport Express (living room)

        Hawthorne Audio 101515 OB Trio DIY speakers, DIY Bottlehead Stereomour 2A3 amp, DIY 6CL6 SPUD amp, Rythmik 370 OB Plate Amps (in stereo), Beresford TC-7520 DAC, Macbook Pro/iTunes & Decibel FLAC player for Mac, Sony S370 Blu-ray (listening room)

        Other stuff: Usher S-520, JohnBlue JB-3, MiniWatt, Glow Amp One, Nuforce Icon Mobile, Sennheiser HD595

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