With 55 entries for the DC State Fair Home Brew competition – a significant increase over last year, indicative of home brewing’s increasing popularity in DC – competition was stiff, and the judging was not easy. The (mostly) delicious beverages were judged based on adherence to style but even more so on overall quality and a lack of serious flaws. So half a dozen beer industry types were tasked with the job of judging all these entries in one sitting on Monday night – it sounds like a beer drinker’s delight, but it was seriously grueling.
The first round was intended to separate the outstanding beers from the mediocre from the downright undrinkable. The exceptional beers have been invited to participate in Meridian Pint’s homebrew competition next week. If you entered the competition but haven’t heard anything back yet, hold tight, as emails are still going out throughout the week.
Although the top 30 or 40 have been invited to participate in Meridian Pint’s competition (which is a separate contest – the DC State Fair competition was essentially a qualifying round), only 15 or 20 will move on to the second round of the DC State Fair competition. Don’t fret though, as there are separate prizes for each: a $100 gift certificate for first, $50 for second, and $25 for third, very generously donated by the finest beer bar in Columbia Heights. The final round of judging for the DC State Fair Home Brew competition will likely take place on Sunday afternoon at Meridian Pint (please, no heckling and/or bribery attempts), and the winners will be announced at Meridian Pint’s event on Tuesday.
Meridian Pint’s invitation-only competition, Home Brew Match Up IV, will be held this Tuesday, August 16th. It will take place at their downstairs bar from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and, as always, entry is free. Get there early though as the space usually reaches capacity and lines for beer tasting can form well before 7:00 PM. Although the invited brewer is not required to bring the same beer they entered in the DC State Fair contest, expect this iteration of Meridian Pint’s popular event to be even more competitive than usual – only the best brewers in the area will be able to enter their latest creations. The Meridian Pint competition will be judged on a “best of show” basis, which means you have an added incentive to show up and taste all the beers, because – as if free beer weren’t enough – YOU get to vote for your favorite. Talk about democracy at work!
Not only is this event a fun way to get involved in DC Beer Week and learn about home brewing in DC, but it will also be an opportunity to learn more about the DC State Fair which takes place at Columbia Heights Day the following weekend (Saturday, August 27th). Representatives of the DC State Fair will be on hand to answer any questions you may have (…and we might even sample a beer or three).
Good luck to all those who entered either competition. To everyone else, we hope to see you on Tuesday at Meridian Pint and then the following weekend at the DC State Fair!