Dean had an idea, about a year or so ago to have a club beer. This beer would be one that we could typically brew at events and possibly serve at beer festivals. The idea was that as a club we would pick a style, that is easy to brew and enjoyed by a wide variety of people. We chose a cream ale. The next step was to pick a recipe as a template to use, and all the members who are interested would brew their variation of this template beer and we would have a competition to pick the one we felt was the best. This beer would become our club beer. The template we used was Weed, Feed, and Mow from the Book Brewing Classic Styles.
For the competition we decided to use a Best of show style judging process. We did 2 sets of beers since we had so many entries for this club only competition. From these 2 rounds, we picked 2 beers each to make it into the final round. This final round was a hard fought battle between all 4 beers. Some of the debate was heated, and some not so much. The hardest cut was the 4th place beer. The issue was this appeared to be a beer you loved or you didn’t. Those who wanted to keep it had it as their 1st place beer others had it as last out of the 4. After this debate and a lot of gavel pounded by our President, a majority rules decision ended up kicking that beer out at 4th place. That ended up being Jason Johnson’s Honey Cream Ale. The next phase of the debate was also not going anywhere fast. So between the final 3 we ended up debating the pros and cons of the remaining 3 beers. It was a difficult debate but out of the 3, there was one that fit the style a bit better than the other 2. So we ended up having our 1st place winner picked next. That winner ended up being Brent Wilkerson’s Cream Ale….which oddly enough was the Weed, Feed, and Mow recipe without any alterations. With our 1st place winner picked, we still needed to determine a 2nd and 3rd place beer to award the medals. After some back and forth banter and really nit picking the 2 remaining beers we decided that the 2nd place beer was Brian Lesperance’s Cream Ale and the 3rd place spot ended up being Adam Davidson’s Cream Ale.
Congratulations to Brent Wilkerson on winning the honor of brewing the club beer, the Weed, Feed, and Mow cream ale. But since the debate between all 4 of the top beers was so tight, we will publish all 4 of the recipes (and yes, 1 of them is an extract beer), but only one will have the honor of being brewed at club events!
Best of Show Finalists Recipes