Qualifier: This is a long post, not an RSS feed. Don’t read it if you don’t want to see me espousing much love for good people.
It’s been more than an awkward year for this year’s Spirit of Free Beer (SOFB) competition and for life in general, which resulted in a scaled-down and first time “hybrid” competition with judging occurring remotely in pairs (or triples) and the Best of Show (BOS) happening in person at Silver Branch Brewing Company, which was live-streamed on SBBC’s Instagram feed. A BIG shout out to Christian Layke and Brett Robison at Silver Branch for hosting the BOS and for Brett sitting for BOS as one of the East Coast’s most highly rated Cicerones.
Despite the logistical hurdles, this year’s “SOFB Lite” comp was a success. We had a respectable 68 entries in spite of restrictions including limiting entries to homebrew clubs in the DMV and no more than four entries per participant. Hopefully next year we’ll have a fully open gallery shootin’ match and get back to the good ole days….
Many congrats to our BOS winners– two of which were from BURP! (Not a fix I swear!!)
1st Place– Czech dark lager (cat. 3D) called Suave T’mave– by Bill Ridgely and Wendy Aaronson (BURP!)
2nd Place– Light hazy IPA (Specialty IPA cat. 21B) called Talus Smash by Mike Caiola (BADASS!)
3rd Place– Russian imperial stout aged in American whiskey barrels (Wood-Aged Beer cat. 33A) called BURP’s Bringing the Wood! By BURP (Group effort spearheaded by Dave White and Jim Busch)
I would also like to announce the Bill Moe Award winner for the best extract beer for this year’s comp. It was BURP’s own Daniel Warehime with his Weissbier (cat. 10A) called Slice of Hefen!
For a full listing of the rest of the winners go to: https://sofb.brewcomp.com/. As an FYI, winners will be formally announced and ribbons/prizes will be given at the upcoming BURP Chili Cook-off meeting on May 21st. Look for Chuck’s email for additional deets.
All this said, I’d like to thank all of the folks who helped make this year’s comp go….
First and foremost, major props go to Thomas Sords as Judge Coordinator. He may look like an old time throwback to Elijah Craig with more fuzz than most of us combined, but he did most of the heavy lifting for this comp, coordinating the remote teams, organizing categories for the comp, and serving as an entry drop off point in VA for the comp. He even went so far as to sacrifice his significant other’s Saturday (thanks Delora!) to ensure delivery of VA’s entries to the sorting tables- knowing full well that he would end up camping in a tent! You all owe this man a beer or slap on the back for a job most well done! I’m proud to call him my
crutch friend…. (He might not say the same at this point.)
The other anchor of this comp was our seasoned Registrar- Bob Rouse. This man is as cool as James Bond saving the world or at least dealing with the boobery of some (mostly me), delivering the goods to keep us all on the straight and narrow before, during, and now after the comp! You all should give love to him! I would- but fear repercussions from Raine.
Thanks also go out to the folks who helped us host/organize the entries for distribution to the remote locations, including (in alphabetical order): Wendy Aaronson, Ed Bielus, Delora Parks, Bill Ridgely, and the Scholfields– including Matt, Kristy, and Kelsier (designated DD for Matt and Kristy, which is precocious for a toddler!).
Lastly, major props to the judges who hosted “remote” judging teams (Tom and Colleen Cannon, Bill Heverly, Greg Leifer, Mike Reiniz, Wendy Schmidt, and Andrew Shore) and judged, to those judges who were able/willing to travel to the hosts’ sites and do the yoeman’s (but hopefully enjoyable) work of the comp, and to the BOS judges (Bill Heverly, Mike Reinitz, Brett Robison, and Phil Sides) who are all now Interwebz famous. We really appreciated your help with all of this. We literally could not have done it without you!!
OK- enough rambling. I’ll hopefully see you all on May 21st!
Dave White, SOFB Lite 2022 Co-organizer
PS If you’re getting a prize– you should show much love to the folks who are the prize coordinators this year, including BURP’s Treasurer and Jack-of-all-trades Pam Leifer and BURP’s own Fearless Leader Chuck Hughes!! This really is a club effort.