The KGB’s Double Agent Brew Challenge is that on-again-off-again tradition, steeped in the murky, alcohol-fogged memories of heated battle. Begun long ago, the DABC was created to bring new brewers into the hallowed halls of all-grain brewing. Organizers will select one beer style, and each team will brew that style. Experienced all-grain brewers are teamed up with one or two novice/extract brewers, and they come up with their own recipe and try to brew the best beer among all entries.
Resurrected last year, teams were decided, batches were brewed, and judging took place during our September 2013 meeting at the Lone Pint Brewery – almost. It’s the judging part that gives me the skunk-eye expression. I guess the beers were just so damned good, it took the guys up at Lone Pint four whole months to decide on a winner. I’m happy to report, though, that the ballots have at last been counted, and we do have a winner.
To sum up, the style was Imperial Red Ale, and the teams were divvied up as follows:
- Andrew Elliot with Craig Gentry and Steven Vande Lune
- Ed Condon with Ray Markiewicz and Steve Power
- Don Sajda with Herb Baker and Ron Duncan
- Phil Kaufman with Bob Remeika
- Robert Chan with John Dawson
- Chris Landis with Joe Fedele, Mike Johnson and Jeff Watson
- Jeff Scheerhorn with Sam Michener
And the winning team – surprise, surprise – was headed up by has-been czar Ed Condon, who seems to win every other contest put on by a brewery. I’m starting to think that Ed’s cottage in the New Mexico mountains is just a pile of bribe money. Whatever the strategy, it’s working, and now Ray Markiewicz and Steve Power may be in on the secret. Start saving your rubles, comrades. The price of blue ribbons is on the rise.
Seriously, though, my hearty congratulations goes to Ed, Ray, and Steve. Cheers to you, comrades!