I have been remiss in not promoting the upcoming Cactus Challenge 2010 that is a homebrew competition conducted by the local brew club Ale-ian Society. This competition is focused on beer but they do have several categories of mead that are judged each year. The best of show wins a belt buckle (YEE-haw! Welcome to Texas!) but I don't think a mead has ever won. In any event, I entered three meads to be judged. This is only the second competition I have entered but I am hoping for at least one ribbon.
First, I entered the southwestern cyser (batch 5-001; OG: 1.170; FG: 1.012; ABV: 21.1%) under the name "Mockingbird Alley" although I have since changed the name. I just recently bottled it so I am curious as to how it will do in that it is still young. Still, it is one of the more unique meads I have made.
I also entered one of my favorite cysers, "Golden Delicious" (batch 3-004; OG: 1.138; FG: 1.014; ABV: 17.1%), that was bottled in October 2007. Frankly, I love this mead and I was loath to part with 36 oz. regardless of any chance to win.
Finally, I entered a dry, spicy hydromel named "Desert Goat" (batch 3-005; OG: 1.060; FG: .992; ABV: 9.2%) that was bottled in September 2007. I enjoy the crisp mouth of this mead and I hope that it may appeal to the beer-quaffers judging pallet!
I would also like to thank Sograte BBQ and Brew, the local homebrew supply store, for lending me the beer top crimper so I could enter. Because of rules for homebrew beer entries, I had to put a gold crimp top which is common for beer but rare for mead (most mazers use a cork). In fact, this is why I have not entered this competition in past years.