Iowa State Fair 2011 – Oenology Competition Results

Well I just received my scoring sheets in the mail on Friday from the Iowa State Fair, and I have some very good news. My final judging scores were high enough that I received two bronze and one silver ribbon from the state fair.

And in reading the scoring sheets, the most surprising thing that I noticed was that the cider that I thought was the worst of the bunch, which was the one that used the Lalvin yeast scored the highest of the three entries that I submitted, winning a silver ribbon. While the cider that used the Premier Cuvee yeast scored the lowest of the three, which I thought was the best of the three. So go figure. But this is most certainly motivation for next year, to work on my brewing techniques.

So here is the breakdown of the final scoring:

21A – Vegetable Beer – Pumpkin Ale – Final Score: 29.5/50

27A – Common Cider – Final Score: 28.5/50
Yeast: Premier Cuvee

27B – English Cider – Final Score: 37/50
Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122

Rolling Rock in Cans!

Seeing how my last post was all about beer, let’s talk some more about beer. And with it being the middle of the dog days of summer, its time for me to partake in my favorite American summer time beer, that being Rolling Rock beer.

Yes, I know that Rolling Rock is no longer an independent company every since it was gobbled up years ago by Anheuser Busch (so sad). In the beer wars, I’m a Miller kind of guy, but when it comes to Rolling Rock, I’m not that much of a partisan ideologue that I’m going to stop drinking Rolling Rock and give up my summer beer.

With that said, each week I’ve usually been picking up a 12 pack of Rolling Rock bottles, to rotate with my homebrew on tap. But at $11.99 a 12 pack, it’s not exactly a good value play, since my usual value play is a 30 pack of Miller High Life cans for $15.99.

So too my utter and complete surprise this past weekend, the grocery store that I go to just north of my house, had 30 packs of Rolling Rock cans for $15.99. Well consider me sold, over and over again!

Since the last time I saw Rolling Rock in a can, was close to a decade ago in Michigan. And even then, it was only an 18 pk of cans, so a 30 pack is like manna from heaven for me. So until the grocery store stops carrying Rolling Rock in a can, the High Life is getting put on the back burner, since I plan on rocking the box of rocks for the rest of the summer.

Iowa State Fair 2011 – Oenology Competition

One of my goals from last year was to enter a couple of beers into the Iowa State Fair. And what ended up happening last year, was that I totally missed the entry deadline, since I couldn’t figure out how to even submit an entry in the first place.

Well this year, I checked the State Fair’s website on June 28th (a Wednesday) to figure out the entry process, and talk about looking in the nick of time. This year’s entry deadline was July 1st (a Friday) so I just submitted my entries with only a few days to spare.

I ended up entering three different brews into the State Fair this year, with the breakdown being two hard ciders (one with batch #23 using Premier Cuvee yeast aged less than 1 year, and the other cider used Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast aged for 2 years) and the beer I entered was that pumpkin ale that I kegged back in November 2009.

With my entry application accepted, I swung by the fair grounds on July 23rd, since that was the date to drop off oenology entries. And the judging is going to happen before the fair starts on July31st.

The way that the read the entry form, it seems like the final results won’t be released until after the fair is over. Which doesn’t seem to make sense to me, but maybe they will post the results on the fairs website, when the fair starts in a couple of days. Personally I’m curious to see what the judges think of my entries, since this is the first time that I’ve entered one of my brews into a competition. Wish me luck.