But before we get into it, a bit of a recap of the past weekend's festivities. Gainesville's Hogtown Brew-Off was pretty sweet. There was a pretty cool, behind-the-scenes party we attended as judges/stewards at SwampHead Brewery. They were in the middle of their 6th batch of the day: 60 bbls of their Big Nose IPA! For those that aren't aware, that's 6 brews at 10 bbls each. That's a lonnnnnnng brew session! We got some awesome tips from some of the brewers...stuff that you won't find in "How to Start a Brewery, 2nd Edition" (which I own).
At the actual competition the next day, I judged 4 flights of beers (around 25 in all) across several categories. Right out the gate: 9 am - I'm judging a Big, Wood-aged beer flight: beers that have been aged in some sort of barrel or on oak chips/cubes, or the like. Typically, these are beers that are 10+ ABV. 9 am? Sure, why not? :P
The other categories I judged were IPAs, Belgians and Strong Ales. They really ran me over the ABV coals, didn't they? Regardless, I had some really, really good beers and judged accordingly and appropriately to their respective styles. It is a ton of work though - however fun it sounds. By the end of the day, all you can think of is "Man...it'd be great to relax and drink a beer."
At the close of the competition, the organizers at Hogtown held a Wild Boar Keg Competition: essentially instead of submitting 3 bottles for judgment, brewers that had the capacity, submitted an entire 5g keg for a "tasters' choice" competition. There were nine kegs submitted, ranging in styles from an American IPA to a Sour Cider to a Jalapeno Braggot. All were very good and the top three voted were the Sour Cider, India Black Lager and an Espresso Chocolate Stout. Good stuff!
Now - it's time to start the P4P Inflow: Pints for Paws 2013 is now only 8 Days Away!!! If you've been following us for a while, you know how much we enjoy this event. P4P is nothing short of awesome: a bunch of my fellow homebrewers, including yours truly, work together as one unit to dispense upwards of 400 gallons of handcrafted beer for the enjoyment of thousands of patrons.
All proceeds...and I mean ALL(in year's past we've raised $10.5k, $12.5k & $15k in donations) go directly toward the Animal Shelter Foundation (ASF). These funds allow for capital improvements to the local Animal Shelter, medicine, vaccinations, and spay/neutering - most of which the Shelter has to find some way to do themselves. To say that this event is important to their bottom line is an understatement and we as a group (NFBL) are proud to be a part of such an initiative.
As a brewery in-planning, this event is slightly different from BrewFest Tallahassee in that we market ourselves as passionate homebrewers first. Undoubtedly, patrons will bring up the question as to whether or not we're looking to start a brewery - the answer is obvious, but we really are just going to try to communicate first and foremost that we're passionate homebrewers that love animals. As such, there won't be any GrassLands swag like at BrewFest Tallahassee, but we'll still be there with a huge smile on our faces. Come check out our station!
We'll have fourbeers on tap that we're extremely excited about...serving next to brewing buddy Adam G., and we'll go over that and other Pints for Paws stuff coming in next week's post! In the meantime, tell a friend or two or three about Pints for Paws and make sure you've got plans to be at the Market Square Pavilion in Tallahassee on June 8 at 4 pm! There'll be a line, FO SHO!
With that, we'll leave you to it for now. Enjoy your weekend, my dear readers, because you freakin' deserve it! We'll be very, very active in the next week!