Archive for April, 2005

This Just In – Red Card Ale

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

THIS JUST IN: Red Card Ale is moving onto the Second Round in the National Homebrew Competition!! I entered 3 beers this year, ECPA, MacRAE and Red Card and the Red Card moves on achieving 3rd Place in its category, Scottish & Irish Ale. With 22 entries, I am totally stoked. Second Round is in Baltimore June 16-18th.
Congratulations Mike Kavanagh for your assistance on this lovely beer.
See more here: Results

Finally I’m getting around to posting something about the lastest brew. This beer is the only 05 Signature Series to date. It was originated, designed and brewed by Acolyte Brewer Mike Kavanagh with a lil’ help from B-Sharp. Basically the beer was a good time to make and helped show Mike how easy it is for someone to make good beer. For more info., guidlines, and personal reviews from Mike and myself, check this out:

Red Card Ale


Sunday, April 17th, 2005

HOPS BOPS XXII – This is an opportunity for you to have your homemade beer evaluated by BJCP qualified judges. Awards will be given for winning beers in all categories and Best of Show. Additionally, winners will receive points towards “Delaware Valley Homebrewer of the Year”.

Well, yesterday was the HOPS BOPS XXII, and this time I stewarded the competition. I probably got up to NoDDing Head Brewery about 9:45 and the judging probably officially began about 10:30. Basically my job was to keep things cool for the judges: picking up empty cups and bottles, refilling water, empting the dump buckets, sorting the beers – things of that nature. I thought I was going to be treated more like a judge’s bitch, but mostly everyone was pretty nice. Two tables were pretty generous with letting the stewards(3) have samples after they were finished with the beers. Basically the one guy was like, “You have to try these samples, if you are stewarding that means you probably want to judge, and there is no better way than to drink these homebrews.”
I entered five beers and only one placed. The MacRae got a 3rd Place in the Old Ale category with a score of 33. The other beers were: ESB in the Best Bitter cat. with a 29, The ECPA in the American IPA cat. with a 25, the Mild Session Ale in the Mild cat. with a 26, and the California Common in the CC cat. with a 28. So really all of my beers scored generally the same. The two big things that kept coming up as comments were, 1 – possible oxidation & 2 – possible sanitation problems. Honestly I’ve REALLY been working on those two things and still – same stupid comments.
The funny thing is, the ECPA got banging comments like, “Superlative bottle inspection, … Flawless technical merit, … Brilliant medium walnut color with a good persistant moussy tan head.” But then they ripped it saying it wasn’t to style, were my hops stale, not enough of this and too much of that. It was so inappropriately categorized (according to the judges) that one of them came up to the head steward (he’s been stewarding for like 10 years) and asked him if it were accidently in the wrong category and to double check the computer data base. Crazy! I love the ECPA and I think it is a classic example of an American IPA.

Pliny The Elder

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

PLINY THE ELDER – 8.0%ABV / 1.071 O.G / 100 BUs

Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, and writer. Although not considered his most important work, Pliny and his contemporaries created the botanical name for hops, “lupus Salictarius”, meaning wolf among scrubs. Hops at that time grew wild among willows, much like a wolf in the forest. Later the current botanical name, humulus Lupulus, was adopted. Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Piny the Younger, who continued his uncle’s legacy by documenting much of what he observed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pliny the Elder, the beer, is brewed with 40% more malt and over twice the amount of hops as compared to our already hoppy IPA. Bronze Medal, 2004 GABF (Double IPA Category)

Guess who has what? And from what I have been told, some of the tag lines that follow this beer are: “Pliny makes Randall obsolete” & “Randall is Pliny’s bitch!”

We’ll see . . .