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Anchor Brewing and Barleywine competition pics...(12 posts)

Anchor Brewing and Barleywine competition pics...rwbadley
Feb 17, 2003 8:56 AM
Saturday I went to San Francisco with a couple friends to help judge the 10th annual Barleywine competition at the Toronado pub. Barleywine is a very strong beer of about 8-11%abv. These entries were commercially made and submitted by commercial breweries from around the world. Most were from the west coast region with a few from other parts of the country.

This is a great event, with about 50 barleywine entries the judging takes about four hours. Judging starts with all entries for round A, with the better of those going to round B. The best of show round consisted of the top six narrowed from the field of 50. Here is a photo of the Best of Show panel taken from my seat. Tom Daldorf is opposite, with Steve Beaumont just to the right. They are both well known for their 'Beer world' contributions.
re: Anchor Brewing and Barleywine competition pics...rwbadley
Feb 17, 2003 9:01 AM
Anchor brewing was our next stop for a celebration dinner for a brewing club that recently won an award for their achievements.

Here are some photos of the Anchor brewing system. Originally a 1950's era German brewing system, it was moved here in the seventies to start up the Anchor brewing in a new location. Anchor Brewing is the Grandaddy of the current Micro brewing movement.
Internal mechanism of the mashing tun...rwbadley
Feb 17, 2003 9:04 AM
This contraption stirs the grain as part of the beer making process.
Final pic... a row of spigots...rwbadley
Feb 17, 2003 9:08 AM
I found all the copper in the brewery very pretty. All modern systems will use stainless steel rather than copper.

I would like to have taken the bike down, stayed a day or two and rode around town a bit. It just wasn't in the cards this time.

How did you score that job?!rockbender
Feb 17, 2003 11:46 AM
What a cool gig to be a part of! I'm sure your judging judgment gets a bit wacked by the final round... or to you taste and spit? Seems that would be illegal!

Anchor certainly has a beautiful setup - I love all the copper.

Brewing is a beautiful thing. I love biking by the Deschutes when they are steeping the hops... mmmmm!
How did you score that job?!rwbadley
Feb 17, 2003 2:23 PM
I have been involved with home wine and beer making since the seventies, and an 'official' beer judge since '87. They have a test for beer judge certification, it's pretty tough and lasts three hours. I have taken the test three times and judged about forty competitions to get to the rank of 'National' certification.

While judging we will usually do a 'flight' of no more than 8-10 entries at a time. We do not spit! (that would be a waste!)

The Beer judging crowd are really fun to hang with. A great group that likes to have fun.

The Deschutes is one of my favs. I really like their Porter and Stout. The Mirror Pond is great too. You must be in Bend (Oregon)?

You betcha...rockbender
Feb 17, 2003 3:59 PM
Yep. I am definately one of the blessed ones that gets to live in Bend - I love it here. Within a half hour there is world class rock climbing, skiing (nordic and downhill), great mountain biking, road biking, etc, etc...

Plus, we get to go down to the Brewery for the first tastes of Jubel Ale each season before it leaves town!

mmmm... beer. The work-day must almost be over!
Most inspiring post of the year.carnageasada
Feb 17, 2003 11:12 AM
One of my heros is the beer hunter: Micheal Jackson. I think I'll go brew a batch of stout before it gets too warm.
re: Anchor Brewing and Barleywine competition pics...mickey-mac
Feb 17, 2003 6:59 PM
I'm assuming you tried some Old Foghorn while at Anchor. For some reason Old Foggy hasn't really done it for me. However, I've really enjoyed the selections from Stone, Alesmith, and Moylan's. What were the best scoring Barleywines at the competition? I'm always on the search for a good one. BTW, if you ever need an assistant at a Barleywine or Strong Ale judging competition, I'll be happy to accompany you.
Old Foghorn...rwbadley
Feb 17, 2003 7:57 PM
has not been in contention for the final round of judging that I can remember. I didn't taste it at the brewery this time, tho' I have tried it a number of times in the past. This time I had a bit of their Small beer and Porter. Usually after the judging I may have a little beer, but by that time I tend to prefer the Belgian Lambics or a nice malt (whisk(e)y).

The winner this year was a 1996 version from a brewery called Hops & Barley (I think). I am not sure if the brewery is even still around. Rumor was one of the brewers had it in his garage for the last six years.

Of the top winners I think Moylans brewing took #4. I remember that one because I had to pull for it to get there. I would have liked to seen it in #3 spot. This is a blind judging, so we don't know whats what. I just thought it had real nice allround flavor profile, great balance but slightly lighter in body. The one that took #3 had what I described as a bit of "lactic-bile-babybutt" character. That one got a laugh! I was outvoted and it really didn't matter- you have to know when to stand your ground and when to let it slide. Everybody is (generally) easy going about it all. Alot of fun.

I have to admit I like the Barleywine style well enough, even tho it is not really my favorite, so I guess I don't pay real close attention.

Old Crustacean from Rogue is a consistent high finisher. Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada does well, but not often to the final round. The Bigfoot needs about two years of aging before it smooths out. I agree about the Stone brewing, they have done well.

If you are interested in judging a competition, we have a local one coming up here in Reno- March 2 or thereabouts, come on up, bring your bike- we'll ride a bit and we can set you up with a panel judging a round. Panels will have at least two, usually three judges.

Let me know, we can work out the details...

Old Foghorn...mickey-mac
Feb 18, 2003 6:01 AM
I've got some 2002 Bigfoot and tasted it side by side with the recent 2003 version. The 2002 could still use another year or two, but the 2003 will curl your nose hairs. It's nice, but it definitely needs some time in the bottle. I haven't been able to get my hands on Old Crustacean in southern California but am looking forward to it. Speaking of Beglians, I tried Hanssens Oude Gueuze recently and really enjoyed it. I'm finally starting to get the hang of the gueuze/lambic thing.

I'd love to join you in Reno, but things are crazy here right now with work and weekend plans, including our anniversary. Also, my wife is doing the bike ride that precedes the L.A. Marathon on March 2, so I've got kid duty.

I really enjoyed the report and the photos. Let me know if you ever make your way to the L.A. area. It's not a great beer town, but I can show you a few good spots and some nice rides.
OK, maybe next time...nmrwbadley
Feb 18, 2003 11:00 AM