Deep Ellum’s Labor of Love homebrew competition/festival was this past weekend, and New Main Brewing was well represented. I entered three beers, the saison with pumpkin pie spice (entered as a normal saison, since the pumpkin pie spice flavor is almost non-existant), the IPA, and the Belgian quadruple. David didn’t enter any beers, but he brought several beers to pour at the festival. These recently-named beers made an appearance, and all went pretty quickly: Victory or Death Pale Ale, Gone Toobin’ IPA, Runaway Scrape Porter, Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Bigger NTX Stout, and the unnamed Belgian Quad. The quad was gone first, unsurprisingly, since I only had a 1L growler of it. The BBA Bigger NTX was next gone. The rest were all gone by 8:00pm. It was a good night, lots of people stopped by our tent, and everyone had great things to say about our beer.
Now, for the competition part. I was unfortunately unable to defend my gold medal, but the saison did pick up a silver medal, which isn’t too shabby! Back-to-back medals for that beer, so I feel pretty good about its success as a commercial beer next year. The other two beers didn’t medal, but the IPA did score very well with the judges. It got a 43 and a 40 (out of 50, anything over 40 is really good), with one of them commenting with something like “I would drink this beer again and again, no question.” I don’t have the scoresheets in front of me for the exact quote, but that’s pretty high praise, I think! The quad didn’t fare as well, averaging 29.5. I think it really doesn’t fit into the narrow range of the Belgian Dark Strong Ale category. I really like the beer, and so did everyone who tried it on Sunday, so I’m probably not going to mess with it much.
On the Gone Toobin IPA, both David and I felt like it wasn’t quite as aggressive with the bitterness as we wanted, so I brewed it again yesterday morning and swapped out the Magnum hops I originally used for bittering with some Columbus hops. Everything else stayed the same, as the flavor and aroma and balance were all spot on. We’ll see how it comes out with the tweaks. David is also brewing another batch of Victory or Death Pale Ale coming up soon. Hopefully we’ll have both beers ready for Pantegofest on September 24th.
As always, check out the brewery blog to see the weekly status updates on the progress of the brewery. We have a couple of locations we’re looking at, and hope to have one picked out here soon! Once that’s done, things should start rolling pretty quickly. Once we can get our equipment ordered, and renovations done to our location, we can start working on getting all TTB and TABC licensing going.