Music City Brew Off 2016

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I had the opportunity to help judge beers up in Nashville at Music City Brewers Music City Brew Off homebrew competition this weekend. MCBO is a really good competition. It was well organized, ran smoothly and the quality of the entries was pretty high. They also treated the judges really well and it was a pleasure to judge this competition. Thanks to the Music City Brewers for their hospitality and for letting the Barley Mob contingent help judge.

Friday’s judging session was followed by a catered dinner and a presentation from Mantra Artisan Ale‘s brewmaster, Derrick Morse. Derrick spoke about Mantra’s start, its future plans and some of the ins and outs of the brewing business. He also brought an assortment of Mantra beers to sample including Cassis, their phenomenal Flanders Red.

You can find the full results here.

If my count is correct, I judged 30 beers and 3 Mini Best-of-Show rounds on Friday and Saturday. My favorite? A Golden Beet Saison. Category 30A (Spice, Herb, and Vegetable beers) can be a tough category to judge. There is the potential for some great beers and sometimes some truly terrible ones. Most that we judged were pretty good, but the beet saison was really nice. I expected it to be divisive as beets are not universally loved to begin with. This beer was everything a saison should be and had a nose that smelled just like sweet, earthy golden beets. The beet flavor was there, too and paired nicely with the saison base. It medalled in its category an held up pretty well in the final Best-of-Show round as well.

Once winners were announced and raffle prizes awarded, everyone got to hang out and socialize at the Club Crawl. We got to sample some amazing homebrews and commercial beers and an awesome time was had by all. Whether you are a homebrew considering entering beers in the Brew Off next year or are interested in judging, you’ll be glad you did. It’s a great event.