Remember in June when I wrote about Paul entering his first Knights of Bruklyn homebrew competition? He didn't win that one, but I failed to note on this blog that he won second prize at a subsequent contest in October. That meant he was permitted to enter the Knights' annual competition open only to the winners and people's choice awardees of the previous three contests. Wednesday, Paul's birthday, was the big night. He takes it from here ...
My entry into the Knights of Bruklyn's annual finals at Union Hall in Park Slope was an oatmeal stout, and I think that it turned out pretty well. I might have spent longer making the label, however, than actually brewing the beer. This was the first time I made a custom label for one of my beers, so I feel like I passed some kind of important milestone in a homebrewer's life.
|Paul's label: Obama drinking a stout|
I was very proud of my label and used three different photo editing programs over the span of many, many hours (ask Diane) to create it. I wish I had called the beer "Oatbama" since that would have been the obvious choice with the label's blue and red color scheme from Obama's famous "Hope" poster. When my friend Boris suggested this after I entered it under the name "Stalwart Oatmeal Stout," it was a real forehead-slapping moment.
I've always wondered what it's like when regular bar patrons happen upon our homebrew tastings. It must feel like walking into a meeting of a secret society with our "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade"-style fezes. (I think that's the plural for fez, or maybe it's fezei or something like that.)
The beer didn't win, but I really appreciate that so many people came out to cheer me on and try some beer. I am happy to announce that my brewing and running friend from the neighborhood, Mike, won the people's choice award, which scored him a free bike. The people's choice is an informal vote by anyone who attends, though, so I think that he may have used some Russian-style democracy techniques ....
|Paul and friends|
Sadly, neither Mike nor myself won the grand prize, which was a private dinner for 30 friends at Union Hall featuring your beer as brewed by Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn. I have to hand it to the club -- they recruit actual brewers from local breweries to decide the winners (they were from Sixpoint and Kelso Brewing this time), so there's no concern of ballot stuffing for the top prize.
I'm looking forward to the contests next year and will continue to invite everyone out for free beer, beef jerky and local cheese. Thank you to those who came out to cheer me on. And to those who didn't, if free beer, cheese and beef jerky don't entice you to come to Brooklyn, I'm not sure anything will.
Yes, Paul spent waaaaaaaaaay too long making the label for his beer. Read his own blog at Presidents by the Book.