Juice.Ph, a web-based and print-based lifestyle magazine, recently held a 3-day "Battle Beer" tasting event (29-31 August) involving at least 35 beers from around the world (all or mostly available in Manila I perceive). This past Friday afternoon, the 31st August 2012, I (through Jim Araneta's intercession) and 11 others made up the panel of judges for the third and final day of the event; the venue being Theo & Sam Zaragoza's home (Sam is involved with Juice.Ph and her family business, while Theo is a chef/food stylist who, as I understand, concentrates on corporate events, but also does private dinners for friends when he has the time).
|Global Beer Exchange Founder/Beertender, Jim Araneta, makes sure the beers are properly chilled.|
|Theo churned out an endless stream of pica-picas for the tasting's duration.|
|L-R: Gilmore Wine & Spirits' Founder Mags Villafuerte, Sam Zaragoza, Jimmyton Araneta, and Ella Lopez.|
|Beer judges Raffy Taruc, Kiyo Miura & Mario McDermott with Mags, Jim, & Ella.|
|The tasting began with Jim's opening statements on the objectives, criteria, parameters, & rules...|
|...by which the judges would abide for purposes of consistency.|
|In the background, Theo organizes the pica-picas as Battle Beer begins.|
|Round 1: a triple threat match of lagers.|
San Miguel Premium All Malt - Markedly deeper in flavor, rounder in body, and better on the nose than the Tsingtao, I ranked this 2nd Place, a decent, casual quaffer.
Rogue Irish Style Lager - An easy choice for 1st Place in all judging criteria (appearance, aroma, body, flavor, etc.) as far as I was concerned.
The judges' weighted verdict: The Rogue Irish Style Lager handily took the prize.
|Round 2: lambic (spontaneously fermented beer) mano-a-mano.|
Timmerman Kriek - Scents and flavors of candied cherry (its scent reminded me of Cherry Coke). A couple of judges opined that it bore a medicinal quality. Heftier than the Wittekerke Rosé, it also had more of a mid-palate presence. Swiss-French drinking buddy, Richard Joye, later on told me he used to drink a lot of this easy lambic during his high school days. The collective decision (as well as my own) went to the Timmerman Kriek.
|In the meantime, Theo served us, among others, some excellent Dory Fritters which were crisp on the outside, clean and moist inside, not at all oily, and perfectly seasoned. Jim and I had several platters of this...|
|...from a very generous pile.|
|Round 3: match play of American Strong Ales.|
The judges' weighted decision: Rogue Double Dead Guy took this round.
|Team Juice.Ph was in full force by this time...|
|...as well as some of Theo's spicier pica-picas, very fitting for a beer event. The shrimps were very fresh and perfectly cooked - just done as they should be.|
|Round 4: A Tale of Two Porters.|
The judges' weighted decision: Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter won by a split decision with a 2-point margin.
|A bonus Imperial Porter.|
|Theo in action at his chic kitchen...|
|...this time serving up some Roasted Chicken with Apples.|
|The judges take a short break as Kate Santos (center) catches up...|
|Round 5: Battle Stout.|
The judges' weighted decision was a draw, at a dead even 6 votes each.
|Round 6: The Dark Side.|
The judges' verdict was virtually unanimous: the Andescher Doppelbock Dunkel took the prize.
|Round 7: A 4-Way San Miguel Match.|
Thus ended Battle Beer; but Team Juice.Ph and Theo were not done with us yet.
|A celebratory dinner was served to close the event.|
|Paella de Mariscos (nicely moist with a toasty/crunchy crust underneath that Mags and I competed scraping for).|
|Pan-Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks.|
|What a nice way to end a beer tasting.|
|We had Home-Made Apple Pie à la Mode for dessert as well.|