|We took this tasting seriously. Look! Tablecloths.|
We took the total of 103 submissions and whittled that down to 20, with five groups of tasters advancing their favorite from a field of approximately 20 per group. Get it? Five groups tasting roughly 20 each equals 103. That group of 20 got broken down to five finalists, and then ultimately one winner. The finalists are:
- Jay Powell for "Midnight Brown" (English Nut Brown)
- Bob Southard for "The Queen's Imperial Cherry Chocolate Porter"
- JT Beckham for "Muddy Paws" (Mocha Java Stout)
- Brian Borngesser for "BrIPA"
- Chris Payne for "St. Issadore The Farmer" (Heavy Cream Ale)
We do have some honorable mentions as well. David Guthrie with "Runner's High" (Belgian Pale Ale) and Richard Roper for his "Saison de Hobbit" and Ben Halter for his "Bradenton Bear Barley Wine" (whiskey and oak notes were exceptionally done). All in all, we had a really strong field to choose from. There are some accomplished brewer's out there, and the decision was a tough one. A great big "Thank You" to everyone who participated. We are going to do this next year, and the year after that, and...OK, you get the picture. The beer will be brewed this winter and be released on draft in January, 2013, for sale at all area Taco Mac locations. A second batch will be bottled in the spring and available for take-home drinking from your local beer stores.
Now before I go, I have to give a quick shout-out to some of the best names for a few of these submissions. This was not voted on by the group. It is just my opinion.
- Trey Keisler for "Honey Badger". Unlike the real Honey Badger, this beer was not kicked off the program. But we did not test these beers for drugs, so who knows. The tasting panel that had Honey Badger may still be tripping. I haven't seen any of them since Friday now that I think of it.
- Jeff & Sharon Wilson for "Bitte, Baby, Bitte". Any time...let me rephrase that...ANY TIME! you can use a quote from Blazing Saddles, do it. Funniest movie of all time in my book.
- Joe Pepitone with "Hoppopotumus". I am constantly amazed at how people can weave the word "hop" into a beer name. Just when you thought you had seen them all, and no one could possibly come up with another witty one, along comes Hoppopotumus. Nice work.