Chris and Fred’s Beer Pageant

Fearless Fred Kennedy

This is how Fred will dress

*** UPDATE ***

It’s tomorrow!!!! We’ll all be heading up to 3030 in the Junction (Indie Ale House is still slogging through the eyebrow-deep sludge that is Toronto bureaucracy) 8pm, Friday, September  the 28th! Come on down, enjoy some of 3030’s amazing craft-beer on tap, and find out who the big winners are!

Here’s 3030’s page on the full night of activities, including the pageant, whiskey tasting and the epic Fishook, Funk/Soul/Reggae band. Stay the whole night!

Here’s the original info

So, if you’ve been listening to the radio interviews I do with Fearless Fred on Edge 102.1, you will likely have heard something about our Beer Pageant.  Basically, we want to host a home-brew competition for Toronto (and area) home-brewers, to give them a chance to get to come on the radio, and talk about their beer. Plus we’re going to throw a mean party where the five finalists will be judged and the winner announced.  All sound good? So if you’re a home-brewer get out your no-rinse sanitizer and give that mash tun a scrub.  If you want to be a home-brewer, might I suggest picking up a copy of the wonderful Brooklyn Brewshop book on the topic, and consider grabbing one of their kits; there are a few retailers around Toronto who carry them.

So, here’s the bare-bones facts:  Please contact me via e-mail on this site, with what style beer you will plan on entering.  We will accept one submission per brewer (or team, if you brew in a group).  Each submission must consist of (at least) 5 (five) 341ml bottles of beer.  This will cover (potentially) 3 rounds of judging (one each for the first two rounds, and two for the finale), with an extra in case of problems. You will also be required to submit an entry form (which will be available here in good time), with some basic information about you and the beer.  All submissions will receive critical feedback (if you would like).  Submissions must be in my hands no later than Friday, July 6th.  We will organize a few drop-off points for the entries closer to the deadline.

Now some nitty-gritty: You can’t enter if you’re a professional.  Namely, if you are employed by a brewery – big or small – you’re out.  Sorry.  The final judging will be based on BJCP style guidelines; if you’re not familiar with them, you should be.  This doesn’t mean we won’t give room for interpretation or individual character, but if your porter is amber colour with notable saaz hops, you can assume you probably won’t win.  We have no idea how many entries we will get, but if we are inundated, we might have to tweak the format.  For now, the plan is thus: a small panel of judges will select the top ten of entries.  Each beer will randomly be matched against another for the knock-out round.  Each pair in the knock-out round will be sampled by myself and Fred during a Friday beer break, and we will choose each winner as we go.  The winners from each of the five pairings will then be judged by a (somewhat) legitimate panel of judges at our Beer Pageant.  The winner of the night will be invited to join us for a beer break, and discuss their winning beer.

More details will follow as we invent them.

So, get out that recipe book, start debating the relative merits of Maris Otter vs Pale 2-Row, and be ready to impress us.

Here’s what you need to do to enter.  Download and print (or create a reasonable facsimile using crayons and scrap paper) our entry form.  Fill out the top part of the form.  It should be obvious stuff, but in case you’re wondering, beer style is what style you think your beer fits into according to the BJCP.  Vital stats are things like abv, IBU, OG, FG etc.  If you don’t know what that stuff is, don’t sweat it. Notes is for you to tell us anything you want, like that it’s made with hops you grew, or was inspired by your grandmother or whatever.  If you need more room just use the back.  Take that top part, detach it and put it IN the box with your beer.  Fill out the lower part, and tape it to the OUTSIDE of the box holding your beer. Feel free to use a sharpie-type permanent marker on that outer label, and add more indications on the box as you desire.  The reason for this is that one of the drop-off points is also collecting beer for a CABA contest, and we need to ensure the right beers go to the right judges.  The other drop-off points are bars, and as a rule, bar staff drink first and ask questions later, so it’s better to answer the question “Who’s beer is this” before they can ask it.

As for the drop-offs, if you’re a west-ender, feel free to drop your entry off at Black Oak Brewery at 75 Horner Ave, Unit #1. Directions and opening hours are on their website.  Buy some Ten Bitter Years while you’re there, apparently there’s a few bottles left. If you are a downtowner, Burger Bar in Kensington Market is also collecting beers for us. Make sure you stay for a burger and some onion rings while you’re there, and probably a pint of their own Augusta Ale. East enders have two options depending on where you’re at.  Castro’s Lounge is taking bottles.  Stick around for some of our cask ale and vegetarian pub food (hint, Jerk Tofu and Devil’s Pale from Great Lakes kills). If you’re more of a subway traveller, The Only Cafe is also accepting entries.  You might as well plan on having a few pints on their lovely back patio; you’re taking the subway home anyways, right?  Also helpful, if you’re more of a morning person, their coffee shop is open from like 6am or something, and can supply you with a mean Americano to jump-start your day.

So there you have it.  Print form, drop beer, and do it before 12pm, Friday July 6th. Couldn’t be easier.


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