Standing Stone Brewing Company

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Toasting Passionate (and Really Delicious) Craft Homebrewing

(photo: Aaron Spotswood)

We’re enthusiastic about all craft beer! That’s why we pitched-in some goodies for this year’s winner in the India Pale Ale category for the Hombrewers Competition at the Oregon State Fair (August 24 – September 3rd). The first-place IPA homebrewer was Aaron Spotswood of Albany, Oregon, who also won the Reserve Best of Show honor. We asked Aaron a bit about his award-winning brew, simply named “Dan,” and what drives him to brew craft beer at home.

What do you think is particularly good about this IPA, and what might you change for a future brew?

This beer is silky, floral and full of aroma. Late hop additions and a large, short dry-hop make this a winner. Originally, it placed 2nd in the Indiana State Fair with the first recipe. I then took the feedback from that competition and updated the recipe with Columbus and Chinook hops to create a hop presence without overwhelming the palate. The only change on this beer would be making a bigger batch!

What was some of the judges’ feedback for the winning IPA?

The Award-Winning IPA – “Dan.” Photo: Aaron Spotswood

Aroma: Nice citrus, piney hops.

Appearance: Light golden color, lasting creamy head.

Flavor: Great Balance, very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Overall: Well done. Great hop utilization – not harsh but pleasant. Slight malt sweetness. Great balance and very drinkable.

What other contests have you entered this year and what other awards have you won?

2nd Place…American IPA – Indiana State Fair
1st Place…American IPA and Reserve Best of Show – Oregon State Fair
1st Place…American Brown Ale – Oregon State Fair
1st Place…Specialty Beer, Cascadian Dark Ale – Oregon State Fair
2nd Place…Robust Porter – American Homebrewers Association Club-Only Competition

What do you enjoy most about home brewing?

Home brewing is an outlet for me. I am a creative guy with a mind for science. I have a lot of aquarium- keeping experience and I‘ve found that brewing is very similar to keeping aquariums in many ways. There must be a vision, a procurement of materials, and an execution of a plan, all done within the parameters required for a living organism. When I’m finished I have something that the public loves and wants more of. I love it!

Thanks, Aaron, for the info, the picture, and brewing great craft beer! If you’re interested in other homebrewing events in your area, check out your local Homebrew Club (like the Rogue Valley Homebrewers) or the American Homebrewers Association. And support local craft beer!

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