I was a pouring steward for the Oregon Beer Awards competition last Saturday. What this meant was that I stood on concrete for ten hours and poured beer to give to serving stewards, who wouldn’t know what the beer was, to provide to judges, who also wouldn’t know what the beer was. A double-blind, they called it.
How good were the judges? A beer was sent back because the judges could identify the brewer based on the description. That only happened once but it still impresses the hell out of me.
There were 525 entries and I’m fairly certain every active brewery in the state of Oregon sent beer. Every beer they make. From the every day to the weird rare stuff, I saw a lot of beers pass through that room. After it had been judged, I even got to taste some! This is one of the perks of being a steward, and we deserve it, don’t let anyone tell you different. Highlights included stuff from Long (whom I had not heard of before this event), Base Camp (the anniversary Belgian dark is good) and Deschutes (2013 Dissident ale is outstanding, as one might expect).
The winners won’t be announced until Feb 23 so you know as much as I do at this point. But, they let us take some of the unopened beers home after the competition was over and that’s always nice. If you’ve been following me on the Untappd app then you’ve probably seen me drinking and rating the spoils of my work. I didn’t feel like there was anything thematic enough for a full blog post but I can at least do short bursts there.