Friday, April 4, 2014

Episode 16: Here come the judge

Doug, Jimmy, and me in the Xtreme Brewing Laurel, Del. shop
One of the many perks of being the resident homebrew club at Dogfish Head is every now and then Sam Calagione will show up at a meeting or arrange a private tour for the brewery as happened this week. Members of the Delmarva United Homebrewers group took a tour with the brewery owner which, is a different experience from taking a tour with a tour guide or even the master brewer. The owner often will tell stories about the process or the business that another guide either might not know or might be uncomfortable telling. 
 In this week's episode, DUH president, Jimmy Kroon and my cohost Doug Griffith, talk with me about the tour highlights, including some of Sam's industry insights. As part of that discussion we digressed into the larger issue of potential brewery regulations that would make it more difficult for brewers to sell (or even give) spent grain to farmers. Jimmy provided an explanation that made sense. It didn't make a case for there being new regulations, but at least it demonstrated the FDA's attempt was purposeful and less random than it sounds.
In addition to being president of the Delmarva United Homebrewers, Jimmy is a BJCP judge. "BJCP" is the Beer Judge Certification Program, so clearly there are all sorts of problems with that last sentence. But I can't work out a better wording, and you get the point. DUH is facilitating the home brew competition at this year's Delaware State Fair, and they are looking for help, participants, and entrants.  Although they really could use more judges, you don't have to be a certified judge to participate in the event. They need stewards as well to make sure everything runs smoothly. If you're interested in participating at any level, follow the above link and the DUH folks will get you all squared away. 
If you're interested in being the next call-in guest on the show or you'd like to come in and share a beer with us, email me here, or message me on +State of the Beer. The show's Facebook page is Beer with Strangers and we're "@beerwstrangers" on Twitter.
Finally, and please, consider subscribing on iTunes'cause that way Apple will remind you to listen (your iTunes window will open, don't be afraid).
If you are or know anyone who is interested in taking a brewing basics class (the class is free and lots of fun) have them reserve a space here. Taking a class is the best way to figure out whether homebrewing is for you. Many people take several before trying on their own at home.