It is the end of the year and the perfect brewing season for 2011. Start brewing up those big beers and long agers to enjoy in the spring. The best time to brew next year's barleywines to carry you through the cold months.
As we hit the lull in the brewing competition and activity season, we hope you take the time to enjoy the core of the hobby. Have a great set of brew days. Enjoy the malty and hoppy aromas in your kitchen or on your porch. Keep warm around the burner and toast each brew with a tribute to the last brew.
As you enjoy a pint, look back at a great homebrewing year in Washington. We've had well beyond a record year in competitions with 1,500+ entries judged across the state. We have over 100 judges in Washington for the first time ever thanks to recent judging classes. For the second year since we passed SB 5060 legalizing the transportation of homebrew in the state, we held two incredible homebrew festivals. We have no idea how many beers were brewed in Washington this year but know that the beers coming into the competitions are getting better and better. Thanks for everyone who organized an event this year and thanks to all of you for brewing some incredible beer.
The WAHA has started looking at what is going on in 2011 and it is going to be another great year. We've posted an initial 2011 WAHA planning calendar for you to start looking over. Start brewing ahead for the 2011 competition season.
In the next few months, we have some things already for you to start planning for. Here are some things to take note of looking into the beginning of the year.
Washington Homebrew at the Winter Beer Festival
Thanks to the Washington Beer Commission, homebrew will be featured at the 2010 Winter Beer Festival. In 2010, the Impaling Alers won the Washington Homebrew Club of the Year. As a part of their reward, they were selected to represent Washington homebrewers by sending a beer to the Washington Winter Beer Festival. Their beer will be available at the Washington Beer Lovers (WABL) table. Last year's beer was gone extremely fast so make sure you are a member of WABL and come down to the Winter Beer Festival on December 10th and 11th to try Washington's best homebrew. They'll be serving "Knickerdropper" a wood aged old ale. Congratulations again to the Alers for being the 2011 Washington Homebrew Club of the Year and we look forward to seeing you at the Winter Beer Festival. Details are here: http://washingtonbeer.com/festival_winter.htm
Sensor Analysis Class
Kevin Davey, a homebrewer gone pro at the award winning Chuckanut Brewery is going to be offering a sensory analysis class in January. Here are some details about this great class:
I'm putting together a Sensory Analysis class for January. I know it's near the holidays, but there's a BJCP test up here in Bellingham in February and this class would be perfect preparation for it. And it's always nice to sharpen your palate once a year by subjecting it to the brutal, nasties that exist in wobbly-pop.
Four classes, on Monday evenings in January, the 3nd, 10th, 17th, and 24rd. The spiking samples are obtained from a professional laboratory and are chemically identical to the existing flavors in finished barley pop. Also, I'll provide a little technical advice on production of our favorite jazz-juice to enhance or negate those flavors.
After the tongue-lashing we'll try beer styles from the four leading brewing countries: UK, Germany, Belgium and the States. One country per night. We'll discuss how these beers should and do taste, hopefully finding some of the spiked flavors in the commercial examples and learn a bit about the styles along the way.
The class is not using the BJCP guidelines, but people are welcome to bring the guidelines to discuss. We'll be taking a more general, broad approach to beer, making it easier to focus on the flavor than get caught up in the numbers. Last May we had a really good time and lots of positivity.
Room for 18 people. Cost is $100 per person for all four classes, it covers the spiking, the beers, some worksheets and tips to the bar for doing all the dishes. Every class will be held at Chuckanut Brewery on the brewery side at 7pm. If you're committed, send me an email with your name and best email address and I'll put you on the running list. When the class fills up, I'll contact the individuals to send payment by December 18th so I can order all the material.
The WAHA has been working to coordinate a bunch of BJCP exams for people interesting in taking the beer judging exam. In the next few months, there are tests in Washington in December, February, April, and May. Classes will be organized in support of some of these tests and for those interested in self-study, you can find materials and online video recordings of classes HERE.
Hop Madness IPA Bracket Challenge
Get ready for the first WHOTY competition of 2011.
Start your hopping now for the 2nd IPA Challenge on February 5th. This is the first competition of the 2011 season and a WHOTY qualifier. Go to www.gebl.org for all of the competition information.
It's never to early to get in a plug for judges. So if you are available on the 5th of February please come up to Everett and help us evaluate some of the most unique and best IPAs you will taste all year. Please RSVP to Will Fredin's email:
We will promise you it's going to rain that day so you might as well be indoors drinking IPA. After all the beers are evaluated in the morning we will be doing a bracketed final again this year. This makes for a fun speed dating like evaluation round, forcing you to defend you pick and ensuring the best beer(s) advance. If you didn't do it last year ask someone who did.
2010 Golden Mash Paddle Nomination Period Opens in December
The nomination period for the 2010 Golden Mash Paddle opens on December 1st.
The purpose of the Golden Mash Paddle is to recognize individuals who work to significantly advance homebrewing in Washington. The nominees and recipients of this award go above and beyond the call of duty to help serve their fellow homebrewers.
Do you know someone who went out of their way to help some new homebrewers get started? How about the organizer of a competition? Maybe a judge who provided outstanding feedback? Even your friendly homebrew store employees are eligible. Anyone can submit a nomination and any Washington resident can be nominated. You can nominate more than one individual if you feel it is appropriate.
All you have to do is go to the Golden Mash Paddle Nomination page (coming soon) which you can find at http://www.wahomebrewers.org/awards, or contact your WAHA club representative between now and January 14th. At a minimum you need to provide the nominee's name, some contact information for the nominee (e-mail, phone, club, etc.), and either a basic or detailed description of the individual's contributions. You can nominate someone anonymously but if you leave some contact information, we can get a hold of you if we have some questions. After the 14th, we will contact the nominee and allow them to submit more details about their accomplishments (so don't worry if you don't know everything they have done). In February, the WAHA Club Representatives will review the nominations and select the Golden Mash Paddle Recipient (which will be announced in March or April). More details are available on the website.
So please, take a second and think about the individuals who have helped make homebrewing in Washington a better hobby and nominate someone today. Even if a nominee does not end up winning the award, they will be notified of their nomination and get confirmation that their efforts made a difference to their fellow homebrewers. Let's all raise a pint and a nomination for those who help make Washington homebrewing better!
WAHA Awards Committee