12th Annual Barley Cup

mcmenaminsTo be honest I see why some of the guys at Capitol Brewers weren’t crazy to volunteer to judge this. While it is an event, it’s more Thompson’s oriented and less beer oriented. That being said it was still a beer event.

I’d planned on attending this with a few friends and Salem’s beer and wine meetup group. Both my friends though had to bail, and no matter how hard I looked I didn’t see the meetup group. Granted I didn’t know any of the people from the group that were going, so that didn’t help.

A beer competition doesn’t have to be a big social get together though, and so I headed to the bar. On an evening like this one the bar was the best place to be seated if you didn’t mind the hustle and bustle. With all the servers coming in and out you could order quicker, and the bartender kept your drinks full in between filling tasting trays. I ordered a tasting tray and joined three other guys at the bar. For awhile conversation was fairly dead, but it was no biggie. Conversation isn’t needed when your brooding about the fact that neither of your friends could make it.

I was about halfway through my tasting tray though when I got a nice surprise. Gary Nance from the Eugene location came and had a seat at the bar also. We discussed brewing and the pros and cons of making beer for a company like McMenamins. Gary was a cool guy. The guys at the end of the bar bought him a pint (I wasn’t impolite enough not to offer, but he’d told me he wasn’t drinking anymore) and we all got to talkin. After I finished my tasting tray I followed traditional McMenamins style drinking in Salem and got a compition beer mixed with Ruby. Turns out the Drunken Monkey IPA combined well with it.

Final results were

Restitution Brown – Mike White, Corey Blodgett
Pullman’s Porter – Gary Nance
‘Merican Ale – Graham Brogan

After we had all finished chatting I headed home for some dinner before heading to Venti’s for some heather ale. Bobby informed me when I got there that they’d just drained that keg the previous night. What the crap??? I so wanted to try some. Oh well. I had a couple pints while Bobby and I caught up on what’s been happening since high school. After I finished I headed over to the World Beat and watched some fire dancing.

Here’s a little video of some of it.

Fire Dancing at World Beat from 72mm Blogs on Vimeo.

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