Thursday, 10 November 2022

Judging day one

The first day of judging. How exciting. Breakfast is supposed to be at 7, with judging kicking off at 8. It doesn't happen like that, obviously.

Normally I’d hate such an early start. But the judging is in the hotel we’re staying in. So much more convenient. No shuttle to bus to hang around for. And I can nip back to my room at lunchtime.

I have breakfast just before eight. Scrambled egg and cheese, if you're wondering. Not particularly exciting. Functional to the point of infinite dullness.

It's well after eight when I get to the judging room. Where nothing much is happening. There's a bit of an introduction, telling us the rules, like no phone fiddling. Not much chance of me falling foul of that.

When it all kicks off, it’s satisfyingly early. Last year, we didn’t get started until almost midday.

Only two other judges on my table instead of four. Alfredo Sundoval, a Venezuelan living in Uruguay and Rudy, brewer at Unika.

We start with Irish Red. Yippee! One of my favourite styles. Not. It could be worse. At least we get through them quickly.

Unusually, judging is on paper rather than on a computer. Quite a simple form that doesn’t take too long to complete. That’s fine by me. I just pity whoever has to interpret my handwriting.

Second set is Belgian Tripel. That’s more like it – the perfect morning beer. Sets me up nicely for lunch.

Lunch is a buffet, of course. Downstairs in the same room where we breakfasted. I have some fish and chicken. Along with tomatoes and a tiny portion of potato salad. It's like these buffets always are. Fuel for the rest of the day, not a gourmet experience.

I eat with Gordon, Rudy and Thomas. Which is fun. Plenty of lively conversation to compliment my lethargic lunch.

After eating, I go up to my room for some internet fiddling. I have some catching up to do, having been offline for a few days.

Two more sets in the afternoon: Irish Dry Stout and British Barley Wine. Not so keen on the first. While the second is impressive, with one really outstanding example. A good end to the day. And not too late. We’re done not much after 4 PM.

After a while of cruising one of the darker corners of the internet (Twitter) I drop downstairs to see if I can find someone to share an Uber. A few judges are hanging around.

I notice Em Sauter and go up and introduce myself. We’ve had some strange encounters on Twitter. Strange because of others reactions, not anything between us. Secondhand indignation is such a beautiful thing. I’ve been looking forward to meeting her since I noticed her name on the list of judges.

I get an Uber with Em and a couple of others to Kairo's, tonight’s destination.  It’s a brewery up at this (the top) end of the island. I recognise the place. I was here last year. Spartan is a very fair description of the interior. Very much the junior partner in the brewery and taproom partnership.

They have a couple of beers on, obviously, it being a brewery. I have the first beer of the trip (other than judging). It's supposedly a West Coast IPA, but is pretty sludgy.

I’m perfectly happy for sludge IPA to exist for the misguided fools who want to drink it. I would like such beers to be clearly labelled “sludge” so I don’t accidentally order them. And then have to drink them, obviously. I’m not throwing away beer I’ve paid good money for. No matter how much I think it tastes like baby spew mixed with out-of-date cheap pineapple juice.

There's food for us judges – meat, sausage, green stuff and bread. Very protein heavy, as Brazilian food can be. But I'm not really hungry. I eventually have a sausage, which is good, if a little fatty.

Em has an Irish Dry Stout and says it’s pretty good. I would try it. If I hadn’t drunk a shedload of them during judging earlier. I lazily stick to the IPA. Though I only manage two.

I don't stay late. I'm gone by eight. What an old man I am. Scuttling back to the quiet of my hotel room Where I do some internetting and watch Dutch TV. Which I understand is a weird thing to do. Doesn’t harm anyone. It’s not like I’m strangling cats, or anything.

Jura jogs along with me to sleep.

Kairós Cervejaria
Estr. Cristóvão Machado de Campos
Vargem Grande, Florianópolis
SC, 88052-600. 

Brasil Beer Cup paid for my accommodation during the judging, as well as some food and drink.


A Brew Rat said...

"I have some fish and chicken. Along with tomatoes and a tiny portion of potato salad.?

Tomatoes and potato salad are easily recognizable. Fried thingie could be chicken or fish. But what are the black cubes? Is that the fish? If so, what kind?

Ron Pattinson said...

A brew Rat,

that's beetroot.