Friday, August 17, 2012

Southeastern Brewer's Challenge has a winner!

Taco Mac Beverage Manager and SBC founder Fred Crudder
toasting the winner. (Click on this flick to see the label.)
Congrats to John Southard and his Queens Imperial Chocolate Cherry Porter! 

Whose pour is it anyway?
It's Friday and it is going to be one helluva weekend for John Southard to celebrate his delicious homebrew, the Queens Imperial Chocolate Porter. J.S. has crafted the winner of the inaugural Southeastern Brewer's Challenge, a contest spearheaded by Taco Mac Beverage Manager Fred Crudder. I joined some of Atlanta's beer-sippin' elite to pour, drink, and judge the best homebrew to be brewed by the competition's host, Red Brick Brewery. Not only will this porter be served in Taco Mac's ultimate man cave, The Fred, but the Brick squad will also be bottling this bad boy and distributing it to various locations throughout the Southeast! 
I had a ball indulging in the mastery Atlanta's legion of competing homebrewers cheffed up for us with a bunch of fellow beer geeks including veteran beer scribe Bob Townsend, Tappan Street/Beer Street Journal's Reid Ramsey, Taco Mac owner Bob Campbell, and a select crew of others who know their suds. 
Honestly, there were some tough choices to make, but when it came down to appearance, carbonation, aroma, style legitimacy, and overall taste, the majority bowed down to the "Queens" in the end. It's well-balanced blend of dark chocolate, coffee, black cherry, and even a lil' toffee won by a nose. To show extra love, we were digging others like the "BRipa" Belgian IPA by Brian Borngesser, Chris Payne's "St. Issadore" strong ale, and the "Muddy Paws Chocolate Java Stout" by JT Beckham to name a few, but we painfully could only pick one. 
Fred and some homies checking the ABV of some beer entries.

Ultimately, it's awesome to know that Georgia's capital is hosting a growing number of excellent homebrewers, and it's even more gratifying that local breweries and restaurants like Red Brick and Taco Mac respectively show this kind of support! 
Look for John's victorious porter during the first quarter next year. Oh! And it looks like my design team, AllWays Open Creative, will be handling the bottle artwork too! You know we're going to kill it being BEASTS and all (see below)!
Be safe and hey, continue supporting local suds, huh?

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