From the HBD Archive
From: Ted Manahan <hplabs!hpldola!tedm>
Subject: Beer judge training report
Date: 1990-04-19 21:23:08 GMT

I attended a beer judge training class in Boulder CO. last night (Wed.
Apr. 18). There may be general interest in the program, so I am posting
a "trip report".

This was a three hour class given by the American Homebrewers
Association. Cost was $5 at the door, $3.50 in advance. The purpose of
the seminar was to train judges for the national homebrew competition,
which starts next week. About 70 people attended.

The agenda was:

Opening Remarks Dave Welker, Judge Director
National Homebrew Competition

Beer Judge Certification Program
Jim Homer, Co-Director
Beer Judge Certification Program

Judge Ethics and Responsibilities
Dave Welker

Flavor Evaluation and Technique
Charlie Papazian, President
American Homebrewers Association

Dave Welker talked about the need for qualified judges for the national
competition. People want constructive feedback on their beers, and it is
the responsibility of the judges to give them that feedback.

Jim Homer gave a pitch for the Beer Judge Certification Program. I plan
to take the certification test as soon as I can. The next Colorado based
test will be May 22. (I will be out of town that day; bad luck!)

Charlie Papazian opened his talk with a description of the best way to
evaluate all beer components. This includes look, smell, and taste, as
well as mouth feel and even the sound when opening the bottle. There was
a handout with a "flavor wheel" that lists beer flavors, flavor
terminology, and some text from the Zymurgy 1987 special trouble shooting
issue.

After the above, we got to taste some beer! We started out with some bad
beers.

Year old Leinenkugles (sp) light, to illustrate how old beer tastes. I
had a hard time saying it was any worse than light beer usually is.

There were three "doctored" beers to illustrate DMS, chlora-phenolic
(sp), and phenolic/medicinal smells. I had a hard time identifying the
DMS smell, but the others almost took my nose off!

We then tasted some commercial beers. Old "Hope Lager", "Paulaner
Hefe-Weizen" (sp), and "Red Hook ESB".

For me the highlight of the evening came when we got to taste some "Toad
Spit Stout". Charlie said this was the last from his original batch of
Toad Spit, brewed 13 years ago! It was oxidized and smelled somewhat like
sherry, but had a very complex flavor profile. Not bad; now I have had a
taste of history!

We then did a trial judging of three homebrews: an Octoberfest, a Bock
beer, and a spice beer. I consistently rated the brews higher than the
more experienced judges. The spice beer really threw me, as I had never
tasted anything like it before.

We also tasted a still mead that was about 6 years old. This was the
first time I had tasted a mead - it was really strong (flavor and
alcohol). I can see how a person could grow to like it.

If anyone else who was at the seminar wants to post additions or
corrections to this report, please go ahead!

Ted Manahan
tedm@hpldola.hp.com

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