Compiled by Bill Ridgely, BURP Archivist
The June BURP meeting 10 years ago served a dual purpose – in addition to being a regular meeting with an educational component and a monthly competition, it also served as the awards ceremony for the Spirit of Free Beer homebrew competition (which at this time was held in May). It was a “no need to bring homebrew” meeting since all of the leftover beers from the competition were made available for attendees to enjoy. The meeting was held at the home of Rod Rydlun in Potomac, MD. Rod’s large back yard had served the club well over the years, including serving as the site of many of the club’s early Chili Cook-Offs. As always, there was a fantastic array of great food provided by BURPers to go along with the free beer. Co-Enlightenment Minister Wendy Aaronson kicked off the meeting with the Ben Dare – her response to Ben Schwalb’s recently published “Style, Shmyle” newsletter article belittling competitions based on BJCP style guidelines. Wendy selected 9 SOFB beer entries and served them blindly to the crowd, who were then asked to guess the BJCP style and sub-style of each entry. The winner of this challenge was longtime BURPer Craig Somers, already renowned for keeping copious notes on every beer he ever consumed. While the Ben Dare was under way, Co-Minister of Culture Jeanie Osburn conducted the monthly homebrew competition, this time for Saison (5 entries) and Bier de Garde (1 entry). A panel of 4 highly-qualified BJCP judges evaluated the entries. The final results were: 1st, Jim Busch (Saison), 2nd, Paul Langlie (Saison), and 3rd, Mel Thompson (Bier de Garde). Finally, the prize ceremony for SOFB XV was conducted by Prize Coordinator Trish Koch. As always, there were a tremendous number of prizes contributed by a vast array of competition sponsors. Most competition winners attended the meeting and accepted their ribbons and prizes. The exception was Best of Show winner Ken Gillespie, who couldn’t make the trek from his home in Williamsburg, VA. As it turned out, Ken’s grand prize was a day brewing his prize-winning recipe with Bill Madden at Vintage 50 in Leesburg, VA.
The Jun 2007 BURP News included two reports on the annual BURP Chili Cook-Off held the month before – one on the cook-off itself (with several great photos) and one announcing the winners of the Best Beer with Chili competition. Following these reports, the announcement of the Spirit of Free Beer prize ceremony was accompanied by some nice photos of the event by BURP’s own Charlie Gow. Rounding out the issue was Part 4 of Dr Charlie Pavitt’s “Trivial Beer-Suits” series on the subject of beer and religion. This column addressed the relation of beer and brewing to the Catholic church, in particular several saints who had associations with the subject. The column finished with the story of Pope Clement VIII, who was said to have recovered from a terminal illness when he used his favorite beer in a prayer – “Birra di Warka, ora pro nobis” (Beer of Warka, pray for us). You can read the full issue on the BURP website at https://www.burp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Newsletter200706.pdf.