Each December, one of my local homebrew groups, Colonial AleSmiths and Keggers (CASK) hosts a big competition, the Beer Blitz. This year, they received over 400 entries – that’s a LOT of beer, considering every entry requires two bottles. I’ve observed parts of the competition in previous years, but was never able to judge until this year. Now, I have no formal qualifications other than liking to drink beer, so I was a bit skeptical when asked to help judge, and continued asking “are you sure you want me?” Reassured that it was okay, and that I could provide a consumer’s perspective, I signed up to judge two sessions.
On a recent trip to Colorado for work, I traveled fully prepared – half-empty suitcase, and plenty of bubble wrap for purchases. When we reached Colorado Springs, my coworkers asked what we should all do for the evening – I immediately mentioned that I had mapped out the nearest beer stores. Off I strode to a recommended spot, Downtown Fine Wine & Spirits. Having done my research ahead of time, I knew that they had a decent selection, and also sold make-your-own six packs. Once I explained to the owner that I was from VA and trying to find some great options that I wouldn’t be able to get at home, he sprung into action. In a generous mood, he broke apart a pre-made sampler back from Pikes Peak Brewing Co, which allowed me to select two of their offerings. Upon my return home, I first broke open the Devils Head Red. A dark caramel color, I was automatically expecting a hoppy red. However, this one was far more mellow.
This year, I’m thankful for the newest addition to my house . . . my access to draft beer! That’s right everyone, I now have a kegerator. So I thought I’d let everyone know how surprisingly simple this home improvement was, in the hopes of encouraging other chicks to feather their nests in a similar manner. My husband and I have long discussed our wish for a kegerator – it wasn’t an issue of knowledge, more just our lack of actually doing it. A while back, my office upgraded its refrigerator, and I gladly laid claim to the old one and it came to live in our garage. What followed was then several months of discussion about how many taps we wanted, what type of faucets we should get, etc. Finally, we got around to ordering the equipment. I won’t lie, it was definitely an investment – not exactly cheap, but also not outrageously expensive.