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17th Annual Brewer’s East End Revival (B.E.E.R.) Brew-Off – Beers, BBQ, Awards

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Last Saturday, May 18, 2013, marked the 17th annual Brewer’s East End Revival Brew-Off held at the St. James American Legion Hall. This competition/celebration is held once a year and includes one of the largest home brew contests on the east coast. This year, around 260 home brews of varying styles were entered by brewers of all experience levels; some looking to make the leap into professional brewing while beginners want some honest feedback and critique to improve. There was a panel of about 25 volunteer judges on hand that graciously sampled beer for several hours, beginning at 9 am (not the worst way in the world to spend a Saturday).

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Though the homebrew competition is the crux of the event, there were other festivities that occurred simultaneously and continued after the winners were announced. Starting at 6:30 am, a crew assembled outside to man the grill and feed the hungry judges and volunteers. Since most in attendance would be there for upwards of 9 hours, the cooking crew knew that donuts and sandwiches weren’t going to cut it all day. They prepared a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and English muffins to be enjoyed prior to the first round of judging. At about 9 am, the judges, stewards and cellar masters gathered inside the American Legion Hall to begin round 1, which lasted about three and a half hours. When they emerged into the daylight, palates perhaps a little burned out from all that home brew, jockey boxes were set up that were pouring even more, you guessed it, home brew donated by B.E.E.R club members. In addition, a lunch of cheeseburgers, hot dogs, tuna salad sandwiches and accompaniments was served.

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After a brief lunch break, it was time for round 2 of judging. Some new faces showed up, including Mike Philbrick of Port Jeff Brewing Company, who would ultimately be deciding the winner of the Brewer’s Cup, a prestigious honor that came with a hefty prize-having your winning home brew produced and distributed by his brewery. Once judging for all categories wrapped up, a smaller panel of esteemed judges assembled to deliberate the “best in show” winners. This session went until about 4:30 and after much careful deliberation it was time to announce the winners.

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Yet again, the judges emerged to a plethora of events going on outside. The brew-off had opened to the public so the backyard of the hall had really filled out. Prizes for both the competition winners and raffle winners were on display, and once again the grill was fired up. On the menu this time was pork that had been slow cooking all day, grilled chicken breasts and thighs, fresh bread and assorted salads. Unfortunately, it had started to rain fairly heavily at this point but the club was prepared with tents to house the prizes and most of the crowd under.

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The home brew competition winners can be found at the B.E.E.R official website and there were plenty of raffle winners due to a generous influx of prized from both local businesses and national outlets. As we already mentioned, Bobby Rodriguez won the Brewer’s Cup which means his delicious barrel aged beer will be available by Port Jeff Brewing Company in the near future.

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This was our first year attending the event, which made running it a bit of a leap of faith into the unknown, but we had a great time and want to thank everyone for participating. The day could not have gone off mostly glitch free (with the exception of a translucent cup debacle) without all the judges, volunteers and companies who donated prizes. It has been going strong for 17 long years and we don’t doubt that year 18 will bring its own new set of great memories and experiences.

Written by A+K

May 24th, 2013 at 9:26 am

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