Review My Homebrew

A new website has popped up called Review My Homebrew and it is an interesting idea which will probably fall flat on it’s face. The idea is homebrewers can submit their bottle of brew and have it evaluated by a judge for the small sum of $40. Now that does include shipping so it really isn’t a huge fee in some ways since the shipping and packaging will eat up a chunk of those costs and their is return postage or scanning costs to consider. It also takes time to receive, unpack, chill, evaluate, clean up, etc. Most people get this from a competition for less than $10, but this service is promising a Grand Master judge evaluation. There is only one problem with that, BJCP Judges are not allowed to charge for judging. They can receive gifts, or gas reimbursement, meals, you know all the petty stuff, but they cannot charge someone for judging. So while this currently mentions the BJCP in a few locations, I suspect it will soon have to change in order to stay within the bylaws unless the judge in question is not being paid for their services.

I doubt very many people will shell out 40 beans for someone to tell them their beer blows, but you never know. I never thought people would buy really expensive sculptures for brewing when they can do the same thing with a cooler and a flip flop for mash/sparge, and then just a kettle so stranger things have happened and there are people out there willing to pay for things I would never even consider.



Last night I finally found some Pechuga Mezcal at a bar in NC. I have been searching for this for quite some time and figured it didn’t exist. The aroma is closer to that of blanco tequila with a bit of peppery spice thrown in. The flavor is another beast altogether with meaty umami, peppery spice, and smoky phenols all rolled into a delicious beverage. I drank it neat┬ásince I had no idea how it should be consumed and it was definitely a sipper. Pechuga is made by adding raw chicken breast in the column of the still so it captures the flavor in the distillate. I’m not sure who came up with that idea, but I’d love to shake their hand!


Irish Craft Beer Thoughts

Recently I spent some time in Ireland and while I am sure I missed quite a bit I can say the scene in the country needs some work if they want people to flock there as a beer destination. Occasionally you can find a local draft on one of the taps in a pub, but generally that does not happen. There are some breweries which are becoming regional in nature and even distributing outside Ireland in the UK, but when the local produces a beer which is essentially the same thing as Harp I just cannot call it craft. I found a few places with bottles and unfortunately most of what I found had production issues such as acetaldehyde. One standout was Galway Bay Brewing which was a true craft beer thinking outside the box with many innovative brews with few flaws to be found. My suggestion if you are traveling in the country and your goal is craft beer to do some extensive research ahead of time, perhaps even contacting each brewery to find out where you can locate their brews. Otherwise you might just be stuck with the standard fare of most pubs which ain’t bad, but it also ain’t craft!


What Does It Take To Shoot 1,000 Yards?

Ever since Ruger came out with the Precision Rifle I have had the question what would be needed to shoot 1,000 yards running around in the back of my brain. I know practically nothing about how to shoot long-range so I decided to do a little research into the topic. Even after some cursory research I still see I have much to learn on the topic.

If you to are interested here are a few links to check out:

Field & Stream

ITS Tactical

Shooting Illustrated


Beer Cocktail?

At first my inclination was to just say no, but after thinking about it a bit why not. I mean we often add syrup to a Berliner Weiss or mix beer with cider or beer with another beer so why wouldn’t a well crafted beer cocktail be the cat’s meow? Besides, it all boils down to personal taste so mix up what you want when you want and rock on. Think I’ll take two beer cocktails!

Old Forrester 1870 Original Batch

At the suggestion of another fellow in the liquor store one day I purchased a bottle of Old Forrester 1870. The first night I tried the Bourbon I was also having some really dark chocolate flavored with espresso which made the flavor stand out as cherries and sweet brown sugar. The second time with a clean palate the flavor presented as spicy and peppery with that brown sugar character in tow, but a toned down sweetness and nice complexity. The 90 proof Bourbon is a blend of three expressions to mimic the flavor from 1870 and it does so nicely. With a $45 price tag it is worth the price of admission for an interesting and somewhat complex Bourbon. I may not keep it stocked in the bar, but if I saw it and need a nice drop I might pick one up to scratch that itch.

Should I Retake The BJCP Exam?

Not too long ago someone was discussing retaking the BJCP exam and they had not yet received the results from their previous attempt. They felt there score was very good, but without the results did not want to vacate the seat at the scheduled exam. It can be very difficult to get a seat at an exam in the first place and so to give up that seat should not be decided hastily. So how is a person to know whether or not to take the exam? It is actually a pretty simple litmus test, only retake the exam if you feel your judging skills or knowledge has advanced enough to do better than your last attempt.

Let’s say you believe your score on the taste exam is good enough for National, but you have not yet received your score. The question is how high was the score. If you think it is just barely National in the low 80’s then the question is can you push the score higher. If you can then by all means retake the exam. The time to stop retaking the exam is when your score is Master which would be 90 or higher. If you do score a 90 on the taste portion you will have to equal that on the written exam to achieve the rank so you may decide to retake until the taste score is well above 90. Traditionally the Master level taste scores are low 90’s, but if you were to score 93 on the taste you would only need an 87 to achieve a Master rank so the higher the score the better.

The bottom line is you have to decide if your best efforts will result in a higher score if they will then retake, if they may not then give the seat to someone else.


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