Monday, February 25, 2008

A LongShot by any other name...

If you're the competitive procrastinator type, there's probably just enough time left to whip up something maltilicious (if you keep it simple enough) to submit for this year's LongShot homebrew contest, hosted by good man Jim Koch and the equally good people at Sam Adams now for the third year in a row. (For Jim's sake, though, you might want to avoid anything that requires copious amounts of a ridiculous variety of hops.) Like the article above mentions, anyone who's ever brewed their own beer has doubtlessly had a friend comment, "Dude, you could totally sell this stuff!" after trying one (or two (or three)) of your amateur amalgamations - not that pushing pyschoactive, centrally-acting depressants through their systems should inspire unwarranted compliments or anything.

The nice thing about a contest like this one, especially for a homebrewer like myself who isn't part of any brewing clubs or routinely submits specimens for AHA competitions and doesn't actually have a clear idea my own beer's mediocrity, is that after losing out to Joe Bob BillyJo's boysenberry dunkelhefe, I can say with certainty, "No, no, I really shouldn't try to sell this stuff. And hey, I just lost four bottles of my primo hooch down the drain to the Boston Harbor." Not just that, but they'll be kind enough to send you copies of their judging notes so that you can finally learn what diacetyl and brett and acetaldehyde and dimethyl sulfide actually means.

Not to mention, here in this house we hardly ever brew the same thing twice - even if it starts out as a duplicate of an earlier successful recipe, the obnoxious experimental improviser in me inevitably has to go and change some major ingredient or process, just for kicks. But maybe you're more like my friend Christopher, who loves certain recipes of his so much that he brews them with the regularity that the rest of us brew coffee. If you're one of those brewers - and you really believe what your friends have been telling you all these years while they take advantage of your generosity at their parties, weddings, bat mitzvahs, parole hearings, what have you - go on, I dare you. Just think, your entry might cut through the other thousands of entries to make to the top, allowing yourself to be depicted as a line drawing caricature on a beer bottle instead of a milk carton for a change!

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