The Mystic Homebrewers Club held their annual Spring Homebrew Competition and this years category was Stouts. The top 3 finalists brought their beer before a panel of 7 W.T.F Certified judges on April 4th and after 2 hours, the winner was announced. Mikey O’s “Old Crankcase Engine Sludge” won by a very slim margin. Only one vote separated the winner from second place.
“This was the most difficult judging that I’ve ever done.” said Master Judge Steve Sullivan. “The stouts were far superior to last years entwees and couple that with the fact that I bwoke all my front teeth in Dethember, weally made it diffucult. Difficult to not dribble on my shirt and difficuwlt to judge.” said Sullivan while pulling up his fly.
Judge Dullea also found it difficult to choose the winner. ” I have to say that I was impressed with the character of all the beers,”said Dullea” but I really liked the swampy, musky aroma of Mike’s Crankcase Sludge Stout. It reminded me of an old dog I used to have.”
The only International judge, Jamacian born Judge Magnoughton had his own take on the judging this year. “They’re all good, man. Very,very good. Because, man, they be free. Free beer always good, da best!”
Judge Anderson said the he thought Dave O’Brien’s entry was the best. “Mike’s stout smelled like Boston Harbor at low tide. I couldn’t get past the smell. I took one sip and spit it out. It was like a mouthful of ink.”
Judge Insley refused to drink Mike’s entry. “I drank his stuff at last years judging and it caused me to become near-sighted,” he said. “I had to get glasses and I’ve been wearing them ever since. I told them that I wouldn’t drink it and if they wanted to throw me off the judging panel, they could go right ahead and do it. I didn’t care. God-damned stuff gave me the shits something fierce,too.”
Professional beer judge Winthrop didn’t care for the old Crankcase either. “When I drank Mikes stout, it was like somebody took a crap in my mouth. The more I tried it the worse it got. After 7 glasses, I could not take one more sip of it.”
Second place winner Dave O’Brien receives his medal and certificate from Mystic Home Brewers Club Vice President Mark Mann.
Dave O’Brien finished just 1 point behind first place and the general consensus was that if his young stout had had time to mature, he would have taken first place. Third place went to Bobby Bou, who stated that his stout was compromised when the grain bag he used in the brewing process,burned to the bottom of the pot and when he pulled it out of the wort, some of the bitter grains poured though the burn hole and into the wort, ruining the batch.
The competition was not without controversy though. Three weeks before the judging, one of the brewers had allegedly given “a gift” to one of the judges. The “Olivegate” scandal was quickly and thoroughly investigated and it was determined that ” although no wrongdoing could be proven ,and competition rules did not clearly state that gift giving was prohibited, poor judgement had been used. Both the participant and the judge were verbally reprimanded and it was the finding of the “Olivegate” investigation committee that the olives( domestic , pitted and stuffed with garlic) should be returned, but it was not possible due to the fact that the judge had eaten them with his lunch.
The second controversial incident is still under investigation. A witness gave testimony before the Mystic Homebrewers Club Investigative Sub-committee that he witnessed Mikey O enter a local beer store and purchase at least 5 six packs of both domestic and imported stouts. This event allegedly occurred just two days before the competition. At the time of the incident, Mikey O was allegedly wearing a disguise. He was described as wearing a ball cap, sunglasses and fake mustache but had forgotten to take off his Mystic work shirt. Should the committee find Mikey O of any wrong doing, his trophy will be stripped and given to the second place finisher.
Bobby and Mark, just back from their San Fransisco honeymoon, proudly show their marriage certificate.