The Upper Mississippi Mash-Out. One of the largest homebrew competitions in the U.S. All told, more than 1,000 homebrew entries from across the nation.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve been homebrewing for several years, and some of my beers have been pretty solid. Better than some commercial beers, based on input from friends and family. So, I feel like it’s time to put up or shut up. It’s one thing for my buddies to tell me that my IPA is very enjoyable. But I’m never going to get better unless I get some truly unbiased comments from trained beer judges who know their BJCP styles inside and out.

I’ve brewed something especially in mind for this competition. But of course, I’m not going to tell you what it is. In fact, I may or may not have even talked about it on this blog. Let’s just say I’m pretty happy with it, and based on comments from folks that have tried it, it’s solid. I don’t want to taint the competition by saying what it is. Lord knows every BJCP judge reads this blog.

There’s a “new entrant” category for anyone who’s never entered a homebrewing competition before. So I’m going to toss my hat into the ring for that one, as well as the regular stylistic category where I feel my beer belongs. Judging takes place January 23rd and 24th (coincidentally the day after I get home from my Mexican wedding). So I’ll either be celebrating with a win in the homebrew contest, or still smiling from a fantastic week with my beautiful wife and sunburned friends and family. Or maybe both. Stranger things have happened.