Brewers Association Judges in the 2023 Malt Cup

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Brewers Association (BA) staff recently participated as judges in the Fifth Annual Craft Maltsters Guild Malt Cup. The competition goals are in part to enhance the quality of craft malt and recognize maltsters who uphold the highest quality and sensory standards.

The BA judged four blind Pilsen malts using the American Society of Brewing Chemist’s hot steep method. The resulting malt tea was assessed using DraughtLab sensory software. Assessments consisted of assigning a general quality score and an in-depth description analysis using the Base Malt Flavor Map for each sample.

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Competition malt hot steeps are filtered before judges perform sensory assessment.

There are four malt categories in this year’s competition: Pilsen, pale malt, Vienna, and light Munich. There were over 30 participating judge locations from across the malting, brewing, and distilling industries and academic institutions. Results from this judging phase will further narrow the competition field and advance entrants to the final “Best of Show” showdown where malts will be assessed on malt quality analytics as well as sensory. Winners of the 2023 Maltsters Cup will be revealed in March at the Craft Malt Conference in Portland, Maine.

The BA’s participation in the competition demonstrates the organization’s continued support of improving craft malt quality and the development of alternative and local barley malt supply chains for the industry and its members.

BA staff who participated in the judging came from multiple departments and have previous sensory training and judging experience. Representing BA judges included Katie Fromuth, Kaylyn Kirkpatrick, and Chuck Skypeck of the Technical Department, Steve Parr of the Export Development Program, Jill Redding of The New Brewer, and Dave Carpenter of the American Homebrewers Association.

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