Posts Tagged ‘Barley Cup’

12th Annual Barley Cup

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

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.

Barley Cup

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

mcmenaminsSpecific information on this event may seem lacking, but that’s because there isn’t much out there to go off of. Here is McMenamins info on it.

This Saturday is the 12th Barley Cup at Thompson’s Brewery in south Salem. Every year McMenamins breweries randomly draw a style of beer which they then have to brew for the competition. The winner of the contest then goes on to represent McMenamins at the Holiday Ale Festival in Portland. If you choose to attend though you won’t get to pick the beer that goes on. That honor is reserved for volunteer members of Capitol Brewers. If you do go however you get to choose the peoples choice award.

Interestingly enough I was there when judges volunteered, and if the enthusiasm of the volunteers is a measure of the quality of the Barley Cup then it may not be an event worth going out of your way for. Truth is I don’t know. This is the first year I have heard of the Barley Cup since McMenamins does such a crappy job advertising to Salem that this event is going on.

Hopefully though this will be my first year going. If I can get work off Saturday evening then I plan to attend. Also if I do make it I hope to take some video of this event. Who knows, I may even volunteer as a judge for next years.

Does anyone else in Salem plan to attend?