Friday, October 16, 2015

Sonoma County Home Brewers Competition

On May 23, 2015, we took a chance on a random event that the wife found via Facebook. The event was the Sonoma County Home Brewers Competition in Petaluma, CA. It's way past due, but we're ready to share our thoughts with you about the competition. The husband is taking the lead on this one since the wife has been doing a lot of the writing lately.



As the wife has a tendency to do, she brought up out of the clear blue, this "home brewers competition". Now, if you have ever had some unskilled home brewed beer, you know how nasty it can be. I pictured that guy from the Buffalo Wild Wings commercial with the hoses hanging all over his house. However, anyone who knows me also knows that I am not the kind of person to turn down an adventure, no matter how small or possibly gross.


The day finally comes and we arrive at the pre-determined destination with the help of Lola (our Onstar voice - Robbin Williams fans should get that reference). The location, that appeared to be a high school basketball gym (without the school obviously), was buzzing with people. We were basically rushed into the door. We paid our entry fee and were each handed a glass, 25 tickets, and 1 yellow card, then set loose into the mob. Confused, we made our way to the first table, where we handed one of our tickets over to the home brewer behind the table and were poured our first beer of the event. The first one I had was a rye beer (love the whiskey, hate the beer), and was immediately thrown back.

 (Sorry for the less than stellar pictures - there was terrible lighting in the venue!)

Needless to say, my first impression of this event was not exactly what I would call hopeful. That was soon to change drastically. After finally figuring out what was going on (with help from one of my shipmates who actually won the competition), we discovered one fantastic beer after another (splattered with the inevitably bad one, or the peanut butter stout that was probably the first beer I have ever just dumped).

During the course of this unique and fun filled event, the "Dixie Giants" made an appearance. They cut through the crowd like a marching jazz band having their own parade. Now, to top off the already livening atmosphere, we had very interesting music to go with our great beers.

The judging on this competition was quite skewed. The ten beers that gained the most golden tickets got called up for judging, regardless of the type of beer it was. So, porters and stouts were judged alongside sours and saisons that were up against IPA's and Pilsners, creating an impossible judging situation dependent entirely on preference.

Judging problems aside, This was one of the better events we have been to. Not necessarily up to par with the Dickens or Pirate fair (which we'll be reviewing in the future), but still a great event to attend. I personally give it a solid 7/10.



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