My hometown homebrewing club, CARBOY, puts on a great competition every March called the Shamrock Open. This year, the 20th Annual event was held on March 7th. I entered three beers this year: my Lite American Lager, Dark American Lager, and the Spruce is Loose.
The Lite and Dark American Lagers must have bottomed out after a month or so sitting in bottles in the fridge. I haven’t gotten the score sheets back yet, but I wasn’t able to taste-test them before sending them into the competition.
However, my experimental Spruce is Loose took 2nd place in the spice, herb, or vegetable category! CARBOY always gives pretty nice ribbons too:
This is a really proud win because the Spruce is Loose was a totally new and experimental beer for me to make. The hops of the pale ale really paired well with the fresh spruce tips. The Spruce is Loose is, in a word, balanced. And I think that’s very important when working with potentially strong flavors like hops and pine. So to take 2nd place out of 32 entries is fantastic. The Spruce is Loose is so good that it may end up becoming a “seasonal” beer of mine.