Thursday, August 29, 2013

GNBF Awesomeness, Nebraska State Fair, Beer Trading, Brewing, Reading Books, Football!

The Stone 06 Vertical Epic!
So last weekend was Great Nebraska Beerfest.  It was an excellent event, and everyone in the brew club had a great time.  I brought my Scottish Export 80 and plenty of people were drinking it.  The other guys brought a ton of different styles from IPAs, IIPAs, Wheat Beers, Brown Ales, some Sours and even a Berlinerweisse-Radler that Tom made.  Turned out pretty tasty.  The day was full of great new beers to enjoy.  I had some really incredible beers from Goldenrod (Saison IPA was awesome), Infusion (Brown Ale was incredible), Plowshare, Stone, Empyrean, Schlafly (best pumpkin beer I have ever had), Deschutes, Nebraska Brewing Company (love having Melange on tap!), Heretic (Evil Cousin and Grammarye!), Grimm Brothers, Cigar City (Oktoberfest was great!), Upstream, Lucky Bucket (yes they actually had a really nice beer there I liked called Sahti), Zipline, Blue Blood (their Imperial Amber was good) and many others.  One highlight of the day was getting to meet Dr. Bill Syzak and do a video interview with him.  I haven't had much time to edit video on my own but I'm hoping Sunday I can do that and get something up here next week.  I also took some video of the event and the people enjoying the event.  So get ready for another GNBF video.  This year was rough for sound though.  The generators and bands were very loud.  I found myself having to yell to people next to me just to hear sometimes.  So getting interviews was harder than last year because of the volume.  But I still managed to get a couple.
One of the coolest beers I was able to enjoy at GNBF was the 06 Stone Vertical Epic.  Man that beer was so incredible.  It made me want to hi-five the world.  Just the perfection of the roasty notes, the mild bitterness and the age smoothing everything out.  Man that was good.
Heretic Evil Cousin down the hatch
This week we all found out the results for the Nebraska State Fair Homebrewing Competition.  I sent in six beers (Amber, Cream Ale, Saison, American Brown, Dusseldorf Alt, and Scottish 80.)  All of the links above are to my recipes for the beers I entered.  The only recipe that was not my own was the Brown Ale I entered which was Mike McDole's "Janet's Brown Ale" recipe.  Which can be found here.  Turns out that the Railroaders faired extremely well in the competition.  Overall we had 27 awards in different categories.  Tom Malowski won Best of Show for mixed styles and Jeff Conrad won Best of Show for Lagers.  I even came away with a first place ribbon for the American Brown I entered and a second place for my Cream Ale.  Not bad at all.  Now it's time to gear up for River City Roundup which should be registering entries soon.  For a full list of results click here.
Last week I started doing some serious beer trading online.  I'm looking forward to trying a lot of different beers I have not had before from around the United States and even outside of the U.S.  I'm buying stuff I can get around here and making some trades with a few out of towners on the west coast and east coast.  I plan on sending out some of my homebrew with each trade too.  So far the people I have talked to and sent beer to have been fairly stoked to have my homebrew as an added extra in with their beers.  I figure homebrew should be shared freely.  So why not make people happy with extra surprises.
I love NBC beers. them.
A few weeks ago I brewed an ESB and some New Zealand IPA.  Both of those beers are in kegs now and they are very, very tasty.  I am really excited for the ESB as it is the first time I have had an ESB turn out the way I wanted it to.  Love the style, and this beer is just about the best example I have created that meets my expectations.  Super stoked to enjoy this beer on tap and send it out for a few comps.  The Marris Otter malt I used as a base really comes through and the hop bitterness and English style is there with all the flavors you would expect.  The New Zealand IPA smells incredible and drinks way too easy.  The Motueka and Nelson Sauvin dry hop I did adds so much flavor and aroma.  I'm in love with this beer and now that I have ten gallons of it in my basement I am sure I will need to give some away to friends before it ages too much.  I think it's just about at the perfect age to start drinking it and enjoying it.
I acquired the Mitch Steele IPA book recently.  And man am I enjoying it.  IPA is probably my most favorite style of beer.  I love hops, love growing hops, love learning about hop varieties, breeds, bitterness, aroma, Lupulin glands, bines, cones, madness!  Heheh.  Just a little bit of a hophead.  But this book so far has a lot of great information in it.  If you don't already own it I would highly recommend picking it up.
Lastly I wanted to leave you this week with an amazingly happy thought.  Tonight is the first night of College Football.  I'll be putting beers on tap and having friends over to enjoy my beer on the kegerator while we watch South Carolina play North Carolina.  What an amazing hobby we have.  Something that lets you create something you can enjoy and share with friends.  Isn't that the best part of life?  Creating and sharing.  I think so.

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