Friday, November 12, 2010

I'd like to put it on the record...

As anyone who ever been to a pub well knows, some of the greatest ideas to ever come to man can be born there. Alas this is usually outweighed by the vast amount of genuinely nuts ones. But thankfully most of us have the good sense, when the morning-after rolls around, to be able to tell the difference. Either way there's usually a fairly clear demarcation between the two. The idiotic ideas are quickly dismissed, normally with a cheery: "jaysus, we talked some amount of shite last night". Just occasionally there's an idea that crops up and stubbornly refuses to be one or t'other, usually making wild swerves between either side, a bit like Jim McDaid driving home from the races. Is it genius? Is it crazy? These are the kind of notions that should be paid serious attention. After all, one of them was the idea to open a brewery, and look at the Trouble that got us into.

So it was at one of the many informal Trouble Brewing board meetings in the pubbie, (we have them there so we can combine such meetings with quality control, i.e. drinking our own beer, and market research, a.k.a. drinking other breweries’ beers), that one of these defiant half-casked ideas reared its head. I'm not sure which of our merry little party mentioned it, I know it wasn't me anyway, but it came to pass that someone suggested a brewing competition, open to home brewers, that we would brew as a once off special. "That's genius", said someone. "That's crazy", said someone else. "Who's round is it?", said someone else with different priorities at that point. "It’s like finding a 2 euro coin when you bite into an onion", said someone else who enjoys weird non-sequiturs. "Ah, your right of course", said someone else, at this increasingly crowded meeting, who specialises in pointless platitudes. Thankfully these board meetings aren't minuted.

So it came to pass that we went ahead and put the competition together, with our usual "what could possibly go wrong?" attitude (generally the answer is: a lot), and released it into the free roaming plains of the Internet and waited. Then after five minutes of waiting, we stopped waiting, realising that such things are defiant of our MTV-generation attention span, and went and did some more productive stuff. Though once again our record keeping let us down and there's no record of what that productive stuff was. I've a strong suspicion that I single-handedly solved the economic crisis. Obviously someone's messed it up again rather quickly, but since none of it was documented, I guess we'll never know.

Anyway, we let the competition ferment, as is befitting brewers, and by closing date we were delighted to find that a grand total of 15 different beers, of various hues and styles, had found their way to us. So now we have 30 bottles lined up in Thomas's conditioning room ready for judging. He insisted on there being two of each bottle in case one got broken or befell some other misfortune that interfered with its beery well-being. Even though that policy did make sense, I chose to interpret that as him being a chancer on the mooch for free beer.

We now have the judging date finalised and the talks are in progress to find suitable candidates for judging panel who’ll do the blind tasting, and will pick the big winner. Hopefully they’ll have finely honed beer sensitive taste-buds and also fit in the appropriately ridiculous Edwardian judges’ wigs we’ve already purchased. Though I’ve a feeling the latter criteria may determine a greater weight of their suitability, and head size be damned.