Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

D-Day. Canadian Brewing Awards Judging

Around 10:30am, a group of BJCP beer judges will be taking their seats for the long day of tasting and scoring beers for the 7th annual Canadian Brewing Awards (CBA). The CBA's are run by TAPS magazine so I'll be there for the third year in a row as the official pourer of the beers.

There has been a lot of work put into the awards again this year. We've been able to increase the number of participants from the previous two years that I have been involved, which means there is a lot more beer to pour than ever before. Breweries from almost every single province have sent in their product and it has been chilling in the fridges, just waiting for this day.

So pouring? Well, I do exactly that. Each beer that enters the competition is given three number in sequence: The first number is the style category the beer is being entered in. The second is the number assigned to the brewery that entered the beer. And the third number is the number of products a brewery entered in the same category. Make sense? So, for example (using a fictional beer), if Blue IPA from the Yukon entered the number might look like this: 14(category)-2(brewery)-1(one beer entered in category by brewery 14). The beers are all grouped together and labelled and my job is to make sure I open and pour the right ones into the appropriately marked glasses before the tray heads to judges table.

It usually makes for a long day, but is it ever fun. And besides, I am the only one in the room who, if I choose, can sample every single product being opened. Not bad eh!

I am going to bring along a camera and my computer and at certain breaks during the judging I'll see if I can get some live pictures and comments from the judges. Stay tuned.

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