Monday, August 12, 2013

King of the Cincinnati IPA

After a few weeks of hinting about the crowning of Cincinnati's best IPA, the results are in!

On Saturday August 10, Cincinnati's beer experts/nerds met on the west side of Cincinnati at the home of The BrewProfessor for a blind taste test. The goal was to determine who among Cincinnati's craft brewers has the finest IPA.

The distinguished judges/tasters were Danny Spears of,  Ian Hoopes of, the BrewProf Mike Stuart, Tom Aguero of, and Chris Stevens of All of whom are beer experts and have much better websites than mine! Go check them out if you haven't..

The blind tasting was administered by myself and Mr. Matt Rowe. You can find Matt's thoughts on beer, brewing and smoking meat on twitter @LooseScrewBeers.

The breweries who graciously donated their versions of the wonderful and incredibly diverse India Pale Ale style were: Blank Slate, Cellar Dweller, Christian Moerlein, Double Barrel, Fifty West, Listerman, MadTree, Mt. Carmel, Rhinegeist, and Rivertown.

Each beer was assigned a letter, and delivered randomly two at a time to the judges. After blindly tasting each beer, they were each scored on appearance, aroma, taste, aftertaste, and drinkability. Based in a total possible score of 100, each beer's scores were tallied and averaged. In an exciting turn of events, we found ourselves with a tie! The tasters were sent back out to Mike's deck, Matt and myself poured one final taste if each beer and the tasters were instructed to choose their favorite of the two. 

Finally, the smoke cleared and the victor was revealed as Blank Slate's The Lesser Path!! Another congratulations to Scott Lafolette at Blank Slate! Scott puts tons of effort into brewing original beers and up until recently all daily operations at the brewery he handled alone! A well deserved highest of fives to you Scott!
Check all of our respective blogs for similar postings about the judging. 

Talks in the form of a constant email beep on my iPhone are already in progress on the next king of Cincinnati contest. Until then, drink local!



Friday, August 9, 2013

You just never know

So, my wife and daughter went to visit the in-laws tonight. I finished my chores and had nothing to do.... In swoops my parents. "We're going to the pool for drinks and snacks!" I obliged... Hesitantly as what that means is seeing all of your old neighbors, making them feel old and you feel young... Which is fine....I grew up in an awesome neighborhood and have great memories of that pool.

My dad is pretty good at buying beer these days, he has a lot to learn but, so far I've taught him well (he had a 6 pack of Dogfish 60 minute and Mt. Carmel IPA.. respectable). I brought 1 Jackie O's amber and 1 Revolution Anti Hero IPA (I highly recommend both). Anyway, I drank, my mom showed off pictures of my beautiful daughter, and  a good time was had by all.

In comes the home brew, a nice gentleman placed a bottle of pale ale on the table. I wasn't going to chime in "I'm a brewer too man" at first but, my mom kept saying. "You're a brewer tell him about sudsybeersNstuff!"... Actual quote... Anyway I asked for a sample which was top notch. I mentioned that I am a home brewer as well, and his lights turned on... You know the look home brewers...

He is a member of a home brewer collective". They meet each month to brew a batch and collect their fermented/finished or "carbed" bottles from previous brews. I'm told that at the house they brew, there is a gravity fed fermentation (sorry for the jargon) system that feeds wort into conical fermenters. That's epic cool in my book and dammit I'd love to see a home brew rig like that..

We chatted beer for the next hour and a half. My mom continued to brag about my daughter which works perfectly because she can brag about me as well. My dad ate chicken wings and bullshitted with his buddies. And Made a great new home brew connection!

My point is; you never know when you'll meet a brewer. And realized that I should always carry a growler of Crooked House beer with me!