Zymurgy September/October

I just finished the latest Zymurgy issue and it was their annual double issue covering a lot of action from the National Homebrewers Conference with all the gold winning recipes.


This was actually a pretty good issue, as their double issues typically are. The biggest draw back is by the time I finish reading them I always want to go to the National Homebrewers Conference and the Great American Beer Festival (I really want to go to this some time, actually annually). My favorite article had to be the AHA Winner’s Circle article where they actually publish the winning recipe from each category at the NHC, now that’s cool. Not that I want to go and copy these recipes directly, but say you looked back at the last three years winners for a particular category, I bet you could really get a head start on a recipe and maybe even techniques that the judges are looking for.

Another great idea but only an OK article was the article titled the Iron Brewer Showdown. Basically the Iron Brewer Showdown was homebrewing sort-of a la Iron Chef style in that each brewer was given a “secret” (not so secret in this event) ingredient and then the different results were judged. This was a great idea for two reasons, one it took place locally at Iron Hill Brewery in West Chester, PA, and two because of the engagement between professional brewers and homebrewers. For this particular event, IH mashes-in a Blonde Barleywine (100% Pilsner malt) twice to get one batch of beer, basically they just want the strong first runnings from the grain. So this Pilsner malt is still soaked with sugar, so the brewer (Chris LaPierre) invited the local homebrew club (BUZZ) to come and take his second runnings and doctor them up and make a beer out of them. Garrett kind of did this on his own with Stewart’s brewer (Ric Hoffman) after they brewed their barleywine and he brewed his Stewart’s Sloppy Seconds Strong Ale (S^4). Anyway, back to the Iron Brewer, after each homebrewer doctored and brewed the their beer they all brought them back to be judged for creativity, drinkability, and other factors. The winner was invited to an exclusive beer dinner for four each course served with one of the beers from the Iron Brewer competition and paired with a unique menu. Pretty cool.

Another cute article was one titled So I Married a Homebrewer. The title alone is enough to make most of us bag up laughing. The article was more cutesy and tongue-in-cheek then anything else, but I could have read more for it kept me smiling. After that the magazine kind of went into magazine mode and hit on a lot of topics which were boring to me, but I read them still. This was a nice issue over all.

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