Monday, 14 November 2022

Judging day two

I just have fruit for breakfast. Mr Healthy, that's me. I eat with Thomas Sjöberg. We always seem to have lots to talk about.

Another day, another table. It's quite a fun table, with some well-qualified judges: Katia Jorge, one of the country’s first craft brewers, Kjertil Jikiun and Claudio Ebert. Makes my life easy. Which is what I like. As I keep telling you, I’m a deeply lazy person.

An odd combination of beers this morning: Grodziskie, Quadrupel and Dark Mild. All specialist subjects for me. Hunting down Grodziskie was obsession of mine for a while. Then I got to collaborate on brewing one with Jopen. Quadrupel is what I drink every day at home. And Dark Mild? Well, that’s my first beery love.

These are all final rounds. Meaning, we’re awarding medals. Lots of beer nerds don’t seem to get the way medals work, given the weird fuss about Allagash White being awarded a silver when there was no gold. It’s very simple: a beer has to be an outstanding example of the style to get a gold. Not just the best of a bad bunch.

Three bronzes and one silver are what we award. Nothing anywhere near the standard of a gold. The Quadrupels are all way too sweet. I’m guessing they were brewed all malt. Something no Belgian brewer would do.

A buffet lunch again - surprise, surprise. I go with vegetables, meat and a tiny amount of potato salad. Hopefully it will keep me going for the rest of the day. How many calories in the beer I’ve consumed in the course of judging? 5 cl here, 10 cl there adds up over twenty samples. Especially when half are Quadrupels.

Just two sets in the afternoon: Oatmeal Stout and British Imperial Stout. The first is a final round and for the first time we award a full set of medals. What a generous bunch we are.

I don’t take judging lightly. I realise that brewers have put a lot of effort into making the beers and I always try to do them justice.

We’re finished by 5 pm. That’s good. Time to relax a little back in my room. Which is what I do. Before the evening activity.

Tonight's destination is Bodebrown, the taproom of a brewery from another state. We've got six free halves each. I'm not going to argue with that.

Hanging around outside the hotel, I’m offered a lift. Not going to turn that down. And I get to ride shotgun. Another plus for being an oldie person.

The driver seems to be having a little trouble locating our destination. When we get there his struggle is explained. Weirdly, it's in a shopping mall. 

Quite a cosy place. By which I mean small. In a single-storey shack sort of thing, with a roofed terrace around it.

A swarm of judges has turned up. Doubtless lured by the bait of free beer. Just like me. I’m not going to turn down free beer.

Only one problem: ordering those beers is chaotic. With the weird Brazilian thing of having to order from waiting staff stood at the bar rather than those serving behind it. Getting each beer isn't quick.

I start with an IPA. And stick with it, as the beer menu is in two small a typeface for me to read. This is becoming a theme. Getting old, I think it’s called. Or, why don’t you always have your specs with you, you idiot.

The IPA is fine. Next round I order two. To save on hanging around pointlessly without a fucking drink time. That’s the time, that’s the time, I hate most.

 Of the free charcuterie, only a few grapes remain by the time I arrive. The others on my table order food. But I don't feel hungry to justify the outlay. I nick a few onion rings after they've finished their burgers. When they're not looking, of course.

I get an Uber back with Dick Cantwell and a couple of others. Feeling pretty knacked, though it’s not that late, just a little after 9 PM.

Back at the hotel, we have a Caipirinha outside the pizza place downstairs. It seems Dick and a few other judges have been night-capping here with caipirinhas. I can think of worse ways to end the day. I join them for one, then go back to my room. Don't want to be too late.

In the goodie bag hanging on the handle of my door was, along with a can of coke and a can of bitter lemon, a bar of chocolate. A year ago, that would have been useless to me. What could I do with chocolate?

But, oddly enough, I just started eating chocolate after a gap of 50 years. Not huge amounts. Just now and again. I’m getting on. How many more chances will I have to eat chocolate? So why not enjoy some now? (I do realise that I could apply the same logic to murder or genocide.)

A couple of pieces of chocolate are my dinner. Followed by a Jura lullaby.

Bodebrown Floripa

Km 05 - Loja 32,
Saco Grande,

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


SteveN said...

Is that a Donovan reference in there, Ron?

Ron Pattinson said...


where? I can't say I did t consciously.

Anonymous said...

'That's the time, that's the time, I hate the most' had me singing the end to the verses of Colours - 'that's the time, that's time, I love the most' - thought it was a humorous play on that part of that particular lyric.