Greetings to all!!
YES, IT WAS A TYPO !!
Now that I have screamed to the world, I apologize for my typo. I intended
"a NON-period beer has no place". What I meant is very close to what
Eadric has already posted. I would not "exclude or forbid" non-period
beers from SCA competitions, especially because new brewers often start with
these types and they need encouragement and guidance. I would however, not
score them well, and may only provide comments in order to encourage the
brewer and provide specific feedback. One of my biggest pet peeves is
Laurels who always come across with the attitude <in a snooty voice> "THAT
is not period and so not worthy..." It especially irritates me if no one
asked their opinion. I don't want to come across that way.
I have certainly judge an awful lot of drinks, including one that tasted
like "strawberry Drano". Although far from perfect, I always try to be
encouraging, even if the beer is clearly modern. I try to encourage folks
away from modern styles and lean toward period sources and recipes as a
start, even if we all use modern equipment.
While I readily admit that I make modern beers, I make them for my own
drinking pleasure. I do not enter them in competition. For competition, I
start with a period recipe, and go from there.
I currently admire those who malt their own grain. I have not tried that,
Eadric, I like your clear delineation, especially 'period beverages' and
'beverages in a period style'. I agree that only these two types should win
in an SCA competition.
I am certainly interested in your competition. I don't know what venue you
might be considering, but my thoughts are I don't think Pennsic would be the
right place. The hard part about Pennsic is that you can get HUGE numbers
of entries that span the entire spectrum, and it takes a VERY LONG TIME to
judge, and few people are willing to give up days of their vacation to judge
brew. We have a hard time doing it in an afternoon for the IKBG. Others on
this list can attest to this.
Enough rambling... I am supposed to be working.
Master Terafan Greydragon barclayp@...
Brewer and probably other things I can't think of...
From: Mills, Scott [mailto:Scott.Mills@...
Sent: Friday, October 01, 1999 2:11 AM
Subject: RE: [SCA_Brew] Introduction and Thoughts on some questions...
From: "Mills, Scott" <Scott.Mills@...
> From: "Barclay, Peter C. MAJ" <barclayp@...>
> If the SCA is truly an educational organization about the
> Middle Ages, then a period beer has no place in one of our
<snip... more stuff deleted>
I hope this was a typo and you meant "non-period".
I firmly believe that we should focus our research, teaching, and
competitions towards period recipes, ingredients, and techniques. There are
countless opportunities available to the modern brewer for competition,
recognition, and instruction. I realize that exceptions must be made in
almost all circumstances, and I certainly use modern advances like pure
yeast cultures, gas fired kettles, glass and stainless steel. However, If
I am brewing for an SCA event, SCA competition, or A&S display I work hard
to assure that my beverage (end product) would have "likely" been something
that was produced in period and that I can substantiate that with as much
documentation as I can find. When possible I work hard not to only
reproduce a beverage in period style but to also work with ingredients that
are as close to period as possible (home malted grains, gruit, etc) and with
period equipment and techniques when I can.
This has given me to conclude that I brew;
A. Period Beverages
A beverage with a documented period recipe made with
ingredients and techniques that are as close to period
as possible. I think that I have done this at least
once (a cider and perhaps with a couple of meads.)
To me this represents not just the documentation and
recipe but also the home malted grains, the kettles
over wood fires, the wooden feermenters and all else
that goes into a "recreation" rather than just a
B. Beverages in a Period style
A interpretation of a period recipe but using modern
ingredients (perhaps extracts), modern equipment and
techniques. Here the goal is to reproduce the period
end product as closely as possible but to make use of
available modern convenience. Once again this
requires research and documentation (ideally with a
documented period recipe to extrapolate from) and
evaluation by an experienced brewer to determine if I
have indeed produced something akin to what the
period recipe would have produced.
A VERY worthy endeavor and certainly worth a great deal
of attention. I think that this is most of use will
be doing. We don't ask scribes and illuminators to
make their own inks, pigments, and parchments. We
don't ask armourers to do without modern shears, drills,
grinders, or high quality, commercially available modern
C. Modern Beverages
A beverage with no period references or one made to a
clearly "post period" (but not necessarily modern)
style. This is where most of us will start and if a
brewer does a good job and makes a clean and enjoyable
beverage then he/she should be recognized and encouraged.
My personal opinion is that to be considered as a winner in an SCA
competition the beverage should at least be one brewed to "Period Style".
Modern beverages should be judged, feedback provided accordingly, and
encouragement given but not have a medal awarded. I realize this may seem
like a harsh view but the fact remains that a brewer of modern beverages has
many opportunities in mundane competitions but a brewer of a Period or
Period-Style beverage has very little opportunity in the mundane world.
I have worked at and organized some very large mundane brewing competitions
and within the next year I would like to use my experience to organize as
large of an SCA brewing competition as possible. One that would accept
entries brought to the event as well as those shipped in from members who
can not physically attend. I am working on a draft of the judging criteria
and a packet of judges instructions and aids. Currently I envision a
competition that will have two distinct rounds of competition.
I have spent a lot of time pondering this and will doubtless spend more. I
would very much encourage discussion, opinions, and debate.