November meeting recap

Our November meeting was all about our second homebrew competition: Pumpkin. We’ve decided to have a homebrew competition every 3 months, and to alternate between a strictly defined brewing task and a creative task to go crazy. Pumpkin was definitely in the latter camp.

This creativity showed in the sampling. The main question of the evening was what defined a beer to be a pumpkin beer? When is a beer pumpkin enough, and how much points do we deduct in case of insufficient pumpkin-ness?

We had four entrants for the competition. The first beer of the evening was Tom and Chris’ Pumpkin Saison. It resulted in rave reviews because it was an excellent saison, but was it really pumpkin? Lesson learned here was to increase the amount of pumpkin, because it’s quite subtle. The next beer was Jorge and Rodrigo’s entry; simply called Pumpkin Ale. Filled to the brim with spices this was perfectly seasonal. It got high ratings from those that loved their strongly spiced beers. Next up was Paul’s Pumpkin Spice Latte beer. And even though he described it as his ‘clown beer’ and it was a bit young – it was a great creative beer. Since there was a difference in flavour between his bottles I think with some maturation this would have scored even higher! And last, Erik brought a beer that can only be described as Imperial Pumpkin Ale! An amber winter warmer clocking in well over 10 percent ABV. After all the scores were added we came to the conclusion that Erik’s beer was the well deserved winner of the evening. It really struck a good balance plus it oozed pumpkin-feeling. He mentioned the brewing day involved a hand blender set loose on the malts (good luck replicating this beer :))

Cheers Erik – you will have eternal fame as the winner of the November homebrew competition – or at least until the next competition. And thank you all for competing. It’s safe to say that the level of entries was really high. Everyone got the scoresheets back – so hopefully there is some useful feedback on them!

We also had some of the beers from the Saturday Hop picking event at Erik’s. He had brought two wet hop beers: A pale ale called Veeralleebier and a Koyt. The Veeralleebier was a very drinkable pale ale that was a great showcase of the homegrown hops. The balance of full and bready body with the hops was great. The Koyt unfortunately had a slight taint to it, but still it was great to sample this lesser known style. 

And finally we picked our next two brewing competitions! February we will have a clone beer competition. We chose an modern Amsterdam craft beer classic: Oedipus Mannenliefde! Come and brew your best clone! Our May competition task is Brettanomyces. You can go wild (pun very much intended) with a Brett beer. We’re looking into making it part of the Festival Brettanomyces line-up.

All in all a great evening with high quality brews. Thank you all that competed and all that attended. We hope to see you at our next meeting in December. As always we’re open to brewers or aspiring brewer of all levels. Come and say hi!

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