Flying with the Brew Angels at the Amador County Fair

by | Jul 15, 2012 | Appetizers, Beer, Entertaining, Fun Events, Recipes

My husband, Troy Bowers and I, we have a passion for fairs. I just finished my summer job at the Alameda County Fair and Troy is gearing up as the CEO of the Amador County Fair. As the fair approaches, the contests are all a happenin’. I was happy to help with the Homebrew Competition, co-hosted by our club, the Brew Angels and the Beer Appreciation Society of Sacramento (BASS).

Bill and Jackie Tarchala, coordinate the competition and food. David Teckham, a Grand Master Judge and brew educator, is responsible for the judges. Roger and Samie Watson take charge of the cellar, stewards and score keeping.

Judging the Best of Show at the Homebrew Competition

Rick and Marilyn Reineman assume the responsibilities of paperwork and over the top desserts. Many of the Brew Angels help by judging, stewarding, bringing food, setting up and cleanup.

This year there were 97 homebrew entries. 43 commercial craft brews were judged, entered by 7 breweries. The 48 judges and stewards spent all day Saturday judging the beers. It is a tradition of this competition to have a large variety of DELICIOUS foods.

Bill always prepares the meat. This year he barbecued chicken and grilled gourmet hamburgers. Jackie, of Kneading Dough Bakery made hamburger buns.

There was a variety of appetizers. I brought the dates wrapped in bacon (see my post from December), seems anything wrapped in bacon is popular!  I also prepared Vivian’s Garlic Dip from our cookbook and have included the recipe below.

David Teckham, Marilyn Reineman, Roger Watson setting up appetizers

There were a variety of salads and desserts. Marilyn Reineman made several desserts. I found the dark fudgesickles my favorite.

Dark Fudgesickle, yum!

She also made a cherry and blueberry ice cream cake – red, white and blue – in the shape of the United States.

Women have always been involved in brewing, but I have noticed more this year than ever. Among the judges, Craig Zangari, is organizer of the Queen of Beer 2012 competition. Lisa Agoitia, tasting room manager at American River Brewing Company, was one of several female judges.

After a long day of judging it was determined that the brewing team of Ryan Truax and Constance Marshall from Los Angeles had the Homebrew with their Light Hybrid Blonde Ale Best of Show.  Best of Show Commercial Brew was High Water, Anniversary Dupplesticke. High Water Brewing, brewed by Steve Altamari and John Anthony in San Leandro at Drake’s Brewing Company.

The Amador County Fair, host of this event, opens on Thursday, July 15, 2012. This year they will be offering Micro Brew tastings from 11:00 – 4:00 on both Saturday and Sunday, July 27th  and 28th. The Fair’s theme this year is “Barn in the USA.” As you travel to Plymouth, be sure to enjoy all the different barns in Amador County!

Enjoy the dip and see you at the fair!

Vivian’s Garlic Dip

Makes 1 cup

Serve it with crackers or raw vegetables. We also ate it on some of Jackie’s toasted bread, mmm good! It is also good as a sandwich spread. If you have basil in your garden, this is a great way to use it up. Try to make this 2 to 3 days ahead of time. The longer it sits, the better it gets!

  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried
  • tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • (reserve the oil)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and thereserved oil from the sundried tomatoes, and toss lightly. Let marinate for up to 3 days.

Drain the excess oil from the tomato mixture and discard the oil. Place the tomato mixture in a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, and blend together. Add enough yogurt to get the desired consistency.

Thanks to Becky Calhoun Foster for submitting her mom’s recipe for our cookbook!

~ Susie