Compiled by Bill Ridgely, BURP Archivist
November has been Real Ale month for BURP for many years now. In 2007, the club celebrated its 11th Real Ale Competition and Festival at the Aaronridge Pub in Rockville (the venue for the event since 1998). This was the true heyday of Real Ale for the club. There were 49 entries – the same as the previous year. And all were served using genuine English beer engines donated by club members. The weather was a bit on the chilly side this year, but thanks to the efforts of BURPer Larry Koch, the back deck was swathed in heavy duty plastic sheeting. Cellarman and co-host Bill Ridgely then kept the temperature constant using a portable propane heater. When the entries were judged Friday evening (by 24 of the club’s best judges), all of the beers were served at perfect cellar temperature in the mid-50 degree range. This year, 3 of the top 4 awards went to English Milds (there were a total of 10 entered in the competition). The competition results, announced at the festival the following day, were: 1st, Wendell Ose (Mild); 2nd, Wendy Aaronson & Bill Ridgely (Brown Porter); and 3rd, Mark Hogenmiller (Mild). The coveted Cellarman’s Choice award, voted on by the competition stewards, went to Mel Thompson & Ed Bielaus, also for a Mild. The festival once again featured a large group estimated in excess of 150 people. The weather was cool but dry, and the beer and food were exceptional, as always. Washington Post reporter (and fellow BURPer) Greg Kitsock took copious notes during the event, and his article on the festival was published in the Post on Wed, Dec 5. The article can still be viewed on the Post website at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/04/AR2007120400432.html.
The Nov 2007 issue of BURP News was a relatively short one which featured information on upcoming and just completed monthly club competitions (including the recipe for the American IPA which had won the previous month’s “Battle of the Sexes” competition). Your intrepid archivist wrote about the trip undertaken to Chicago by a group of BURPers in Nov 1997 to deliver Andy Anderson’s 1st place Special Bitter to the annual Chicago Real Ale Festival. Andy had won BURP’s 1st Real Ale Competition the month before. His beer didn’t win in Chicago, however – likely because it was more than a bit murky from the long road trip. You can read the entire issue on the BURP website at https://www.burp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Newsletter200711.pdf.