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Slainthe Blarg - Ramblings of a Self-confessed Brewer

My first meeting with the Southyeasters

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I had to drop off my entry for the Devils Peak Homebrew competition at the Tap Room before I go on a roadtrip next weekend, so I figured I would coincide that trip with a meeting of the Southyeasters and kill two dops with one stone.

I didn't know what to expect, thinking it would be more like a discussion of things homebrewing, but it turned out to be totally different.

Instead, it was a bunch of like-minded brewers, some hobbyists and some commercials, getting together and talking (and drinking) beer in no organised format.

Most of the attendees then gathered around a table and tasted a few brews that the hobbyists had brought in. This was for the People's Choice Award, allowing brewers to get some comments from their peers and mentors. I sat and watched from the bar, enjoying another pint of the DP Kings Blockhouse IPA, purely because I had only attended to see what goes on.

I met a few nice people: JC and Tracy from Devil's Peak, Johan, Wayne and Alex, homebrewers, and Michael, a lonely bloke sitting at the bar getting trollied by himself.

I have a couple of brews in the fermenters at the moment and at the next People's Choice gathering, I will go along and let them critique my brews so that, if for nothing else, I can get some opinions from brewers probably more experienced than myself. I think my brews are not bad and my close friends think so as well, but opinions from others in the industry will probably be more beneficial to my brewing than friends saying "Hell yeah, this is good!"

So, if you plan on visiting the next Southyeaster's gathering, look out for me and my beer. Neither of us are that bad, really...
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  1. CapeTownBrew's Avatar
    Hi Steven,

    Were you at the meeting last night? How did your beer score? I attended my first meeting last night and even though I had read you blog previously, I still expected something different! Silly me I guess. If I can turn it into a regular thing, we must maybe organise to meet up at one, maybe do a beer swap?
  2. StevenD (Slainthe)'s Avatar

    Yes, I was there and left around 20h30 or so. I was the old fart sitting towards the back on the eastern wall, chatting to our member Visser and his lady.

    I was a little upset at first with my 29 score, but I am biased towards my own brews, as we all are. Ant scored my IPA quite low, I thought, with a 25.5 while the other two guys scored me a 30 and 31. Without sounding "naafie", I put it down to being Ant's first competition judging, but I respect his decision and comments. I had a chat with him (ragged him about the "kak" score he gave my beer - all in jest) and the only flaw he really found with the beer was that it wasn't hoppy enough for an IPA. Otherwise, he said, it was very drinkable. Anyway...put it down to experience, and boost the hops the next time... ;-) At Ant's suggestion, I am going to dry-hop the next batch of IPA...apparently that's what DP do with their Blockhouse IPA, which is an awesome brew.

    It appears that those meetings are all run in a similar vein, all start late, there are a few people who know each other really well and stick to each other, there are a few speeches made out loud because the Tap Room sound system is terrible (the first time I went for a People's Choice meeting, more than four weeks ago, the mic was feeding back through the speakers and they still haven't fixed it), then there is a prize-giving (and kudo's to the winners, they deserve their recognition) and then everyone has a few more beers in their little groups.

    I missed the tasting of the competition entrants' brews. When did that happen?

    I have a few bottles of my IPA and would relish getting together and, if not swapping, then at least having a tasting evening with a few of the forumites. about organising a forum get-together?
  3. CapeTownBrew's Avatar
    The contestant tasting happened shortly after the prize giving! I didn't taste as I was driving and already had 2 beers! I spent the whole evening at the bar keeping to myself, I'm a bit of a shy guy!
  4. StevenD (Slainthe)'s Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by CapeTownBrew
    The contestant tasting happened shortly after the prize giving! I didn't taste as I was driving and already had 2 beers! I spent the whole evening at the bar keeping to myself, I'm a bit of a shy guy!
    I missed that totally...

    I'm kinda shy as well and, if it wasn't for Visser's lady striking up conversation with me, I would have sat all on my own as well...