March 19, 2008

Day 7- Who's the Geekiest of them all?


Forgive me if my recaps get shorter and shorter (or thank me if your eyes are as weary as mine)
I am on a borderline blog-a-thon. I got 4 hours of sleep and I've been back into it for 1 1/2 hours, determined to get this recap done and move on with selling beer.

I was more than flattered when Philly's Beer Fox, Carolyn Smagalski and Keystone Homebrew's Jason Harris asked me to be on the illustrious panel of judges for the Philly Beer Geek competition. I would be judging along with some of the industry's most respected folk, Carol Stoudt, Larry Horwitz, Jack Curtin, Tom Kehoe,
Tom Dalldorf, David Alexander, and Bruce Williams. All added their two cents throughout the night.

It was the first time I met Tom Dalldorf, Bruce Nichols and David Alexander. What great guys.
I read Celebrator, and Bruce's beers (Williams brothers- Heather ales), and have certainly heard of the Brickskellar but have yet to have a pint there.

The contestants were up to the challenge. Most had qualified because they won preliminary Trivia rounds. One gentleman, Phil, had won the Haiku contest at Standard Tap by taking a Stouts coaster listing beer styles. He crossed out certain styles to abide by the Haiku format.

He was proud to present it to Carol as he mentioned that he had a crush on her, and so did three other gentleman in the room. It could have been a nice moment, but instead his "stump the chump question" was would competing in the Philly Beer Geek competition lead him to meet a girl (of course he asked this in a brasher manner, but I try to keep my blog as clean as possible).
Stump the Chump was a segment of the evening when contestants got to ask the panel a question. If the judge they selected couldn't answer it...they could seek out assistance from one other judge.

All the questions were well thought out and creative. My contestant, Anthony- sporting a south philly tap room shirt- asked me what other beer had a special pour to it other than dry stout and how long does that pour take. The answer was a Pilsner, 7 minutes. I answered it correctly thanks to my Iron Hill life line Larry.

Steve Robeson took the night. Dell, sponsored by Sly Fox was 2nd. Both were strong contenders throughout the night. The Scotsman to my left, Bruce Willams was really voting for Dell. He scored him perfect tens on almost everything. I liked when he ended all his statements with, "diggity. diggity."

Steve, an avid homebrewer and regular at Iron Hill in North Wales was most deserving of the Trophy. From the beginning of the night, he carried himself well. Pride- check. creativity- check. Knowledge- check. The beer he chose to take out on a date was Victory Old Horizontal.

I actually judged my first official homebrew competition, the War of the Worts with Steve. I was so nervous and he was wonderful about eradicating that. I hope he enjoys his $1,000 of prizes. As of now, there's no pics posted of him on the web. But his hair kind of looks like Patrick Swayze's in Point Break.

After the we had our "Geek." I got to socialize a bit. I hit up the photobooth with Spinnertown Hotel's John and one of his regulars Judy, also of Keystone Homebrew.
I also got to meet Ale Street News Editor, Tony Forder that night. He was funny. He came right up to me and said I don't know who you are. Wouldn't it be wonderful if people felt comfortable doing that all the time? Lew came in for a hot second. Stephen Beaumont, Fergie, Bryan of the Brewlounge, John from Spinnerstown, and others. I event ran into an old co worker from when I was 16, Aaron Krolikowski.

He knocked on the green room door, and Carolyn said someone is here to see you. I had no idea who it was at first, then he said, "It's me Aaron, you swam in my pool."

Of course, some of the panel heard this and started heckling making fun echoing "you swam in my pool." We used to work together as dietary aides at a nursing home when I was 16. We were only friends, but he was sweet in telling me I had a great influence on his formative teenage years. He is in Mexico, but we'll hang out and catch up on the last 12 years when he gets back.

Then it was another night at Monks. 4:00 again. This time no camera to capture the debauchery. It was more of the same, but the same is still a good time.

Okay, so that wasn't so short, I guess the coffee is kickin' in. sorry.

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