Here’s to the raising of the horn and tapping of the cask at the Region 5 Brewers Guild Championship!
At the Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins, held in the Barony of Delftwood, the local chapter of the Æthelmearc Brewers Guild held its annual Region 5 Brewers Championship. This year we chose to use the judging format of each entrant being both judge and juried. This meant that not only did the entrant judge their competitor’s entries, they also judged themselves – a format I find works well with smaller groups and which tends to be quite informative for all involved. It’s sort of like a brewer’s roundtable with notes.
The competition drew in seven competitors, both from within Region 5 and without, with a combined effort of nine brew entries. We tasted and discussed these nine entries, ranging from dry to sweet and from wine to beer. There was fruit wine, a simple mead, a mead made with concord grapes in the tradition of Roman oenomels, a spicy herbal ale made with rosemary, a traditional fourteenth-century braggot, and a Rauchbier made with homemade smoked malt.
While the Roman oenomel and the many-herbal beer gave them a run for their money, it was the braggot and the Rauchbier that ran with the prices. I am proud to proclaim Master Gille MacDhonuill winner of the (out-of-region) brewing competition with his braggot, which was based on Curye on Inglysh. And I’m even more proud to proclaim The Honorable Lord Robert of Ferness to be the brewing champion of Region 5, with his oak barrel-aged Rauchbier. Both received a quart of extra-dark homemade maple syrup and a handwoven inkle band.
Well done, and a loud Vivat to our participants: Gille MacDhonuil, Cormacc mac Gilla Brigde, Robert l’Etourdi, Robert of Ferness, new brewers Julia and Richard, and defending Region 5 Champion Cristina inghean Ghriogair. Thank you for making this an unforgettable event – and thank you, little keg, for not exploding all over the rented-hall carpet!
Yours in service,
Elska á Fjárfell
Region 5 representative of the Æthelmearc Brewers Guild