The judging of the Sore Eye Cup finalists went down on July 25th and it could not have gone better. Nine judges met at the Handlery Hotel to fight through the arduous task of pitting ten amazing San Diego craft beers against each other and choose who reigns supreme in our home town.
The judging system was a hybrid of B.J.C.P. and a no comparison judging system based on the quality of the beers themselves instead of comparing the beers to a particular style. Similar to a BJCP best of show, the Sore Eye Cup is a winner takes all contest.
In a private room at the Handlery Hotel, with great food made for us by Chef Karl himself, we dove into the task at hand head first. I poured each beer outside the room, had them delivered to the judges and let them decipher their scores. The air in the room was light and happy but they clearly took the task of naming San Diego’s best craft beer seriously.
Who were the judges? Chris Bush (foodie/craft beer fan), Michelle Donovan (foodie/craft beer fan), Andrea Beagle (my wife and foodie/craft beer fan), Tom Pritchard (beer blogger, owner of Hoptology), Willy Santos (professional skateboarder), Rudy Pollerna (Craftbeerd), Nate Soroko (Toronado, Lost Abbey, Modern Times and everywhere else), Karl Prohaska (Executive chef at the Handlery Hotel, creator of the Mission Valley Craft Beer and Food Festival) and Stephen Ansley (BJCP judge, Sommelier and owner of Bine and Vine bottle shop).
I was pleased with the consistency of the scoring. There was a clear winner with a tight bunch up for the remaining top 5 beers. You will never know how the craft beers ranked but the gap from second to fifth was a mere 7 points.
So the big question, who won? Who takes home the Sore Eye Cup for 2013? All will be revealed at a party at the Handlery Hotel this Friday night! We will have several of the finalist beers on tap as well as great deals on food. At the end, the winner will be awarded the cup, and with that, all the glory I can bestow upon a San Diego brewery and the craft beer we chose as the best.
I can’t wait to share the winner of the Sore Eye Cup with the world; the party is this Friday, at 6pm, at the Handlery Hotel! There is no cover or ticket charge; this is a free event! Check into the event on Facebook, invite your friends and come party with us. The Hotel is located at 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108. The party will be held at the bar and lounge directly to the right of the main entrance.
The Handlery is an amazing place to hold any event, let alone a craft beer event. The next event, on August 21rst, is another Chef Karl’s Summer Boil. A giant tray of crawfish, shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes and corn to fill your belly and a great Hess brew to wash it all down for the a mere $25.00. Get your tickets here.