Barrel House Z (BHZ) opened in 2016 in Weymouth, Mass., and is a brewery that specializes in barrel-aged beers. Last year as they opened, BHZ sponsored their Launch Pad homebrew competition. I entered a second iteration of my Camp Randall Red IPA. I bottled my beer too soon, and the resulting batch was yeasty and overcarbonated. The over-carbonation caused the beer to gush.
Wanting to foster relationships with local homebrew clubs, when BHZ put together their Lift Off Competition for 2017 they restricted entry to homebrew club members that live within 25 miles of their Weymouth brewery. As I lived more than 25 miles away I couldn’t enter the competition this year, but I did volunteer to judge. The competition was organized by the MASH Holes who I had a great time hanging out with at Jamboree and Homebrew Con.
Judging was at South Shore Homebrew Emporium in Weymouth. After sleeping through my alarm I managed not to arrive too late. In the first round I judged Strong Dark Lagers, and then participated in the Best-of-Show judging. Six beers advanced to the Best-of-Show round. Our job was to only pick the top three to be brewed on BHZ’s pilot system. From there, the beers will be served at the brewery and winner selected at a special event.
For any readers not from Massachusetts, I live in an area north of Boston called the North Shore. Weymouth is located south of Boston on the South Shore. Although not separated by many road miles, Boston and it’s poorly-conceived road and rail links separate the North and South Shore like Hadrian’s Wall.
With no traffic on a Saturday morning it took me an hour to get to Weymouth. On a weekday it would easily have taken me twice as long. While I was in the area the plan was to always go to Trillium‘s brewery in Canton after judging. When I saw that BHZ was less than ten minutes from the judging site it made perfect sense to stop by the taproom as well.
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