On July 5, we held our family summer session beer competition. It was momentous for several reasons. It was the first time we had a competition that wasn't part of our St. Patrick's Day dinner. Will Siss, friend, teacher and author (http://beersnobwrites.com/), had the marvelous idea of combining our little family gathering with a larger, more important event, the Harwinton stop of Todd's CT Pour Tour.
Last year, Todd visited all 351 Massachusetts municipalities to benefit pediatric cancer research. This year, he's doing the same thing in all of Connecticut's 169 towns.
Here's the link. Please donate, if you can, no matter how small.
Will again was our judge, and Todd graciously agreed to help out. This time, we had the largest turnout yet.
John Labeck (my nephew) - Honey Pale Ale
LeAnne Renaud Labeck (his wife) - Belgian Saison
Joe Labeck III (me son) - Blood Orange Wit
Tanya Palmer Labeck (his wife) - Ginger Rye Pale Ale
Joe Labeck Jr (me) - Sour Apple Berliner Weisse
The rules were simple; any style, 5% alcohol or under. As you can see, everyone brought their own spin to the table.
I tasted all 5, and I would serve any of them proudly. My personal opinion was that Tanya's pale ale had the richest, most complex flavor. That's usually what I look for, so I would have picked hers as the winner.
It was great fun watching Will and Todd judge the entrants. They obviously took their charge seriously, taking notes and discussing each beer.
In the end, they asked for a re-taste of several beers. Finally, on the basis of adherence to style, they chose my Berliner Weisse as the winner. I was pleased and surprised. As my son had mentioned, making a sour beer was a bit of a risk, but one that paid off.
In the end, we all had a great time, good food, fantastic beer, and were able to help Todd in his worthy endeavor. We were able to raise over $300 for cancer research. As I mentioned, every bit helps, and we were happy to be part of it.
And, I finally won.