The Beer Madness panelists have done their work, sipping, spitting and scribbling their way through 32 brews from the Chesapeake region. It’s time to introduce them.
As in previous years, the panel includes five expert tasters (including beer columnist Greg Kitsock) and four readers chosen from a mountain of submissions.
U.S. Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), co-chairman of the House Small Brewers Caucus. The congressman impressed us so much during his first stint as a reader panelist last year that we promoted him to expert status for his return.
Carolyn Stromberg, owner of Righteous Cheese in Union Market, where she designs pairings of cheese with wine and beer.
Two in one: Bryan Voltaggio, chef-owner of Volt, Family Meal and Lunchbox in Frederick and the new Range in Chevy Chase, judged on the first of our two tasting nights. He then handed the baton to Range chef de cuisine Matt Hill for the second and following rounds.
The readers (and what they wrote that caught our eye):
Scott Schenkelberg, 41, of Arlington. The president and chief executive of Miriam’s Kitchen in the District, Schenkelberg wrote: “I realized that my beer obsession may have gone too far the day my kindergartner was asked to use the word ‘tap’ in a sentence and said, ‘What kind of beer do you have on tap?’ ” His three favorite domestic craft brews: Odell’s IPA, Troegs Nugget Nectar and Clipper City Heavy Seas Uber Pils.
Doris Dixon, 54, of Chevy Chase. A staffer at the Department of Education, she wrote: “Once I searched the globe for gorgeous, golden and hoppy — such is the folly of youth — but now it’s complicated, dark and malty, and I find ’em closer to home ... but they still have a silky head of foam.” Her three favorite beers: Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead the Fifth.
Jeanne Segal, 54, of Bethesda. A freelance PR consultant, Segal wrote: “I am the daughter of the man who was first to commercially propagate Cascade hops. If that did not catch your attention, then I must have the wrong e-mail.” Her three favorite beers: New Belgium Ranger, Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ and Green Flash IPA.
Joe Wallace, 38, of the District. A legislative clerk, Wallace wrote: “I have been drinking, brewing, collecting (hoarding) and obsessing over craft beer since the early ’90s, and as a native Washingtonian I feel blessed to be alive during this amazing time for beer in D.C.!” A native Washingtonian? Given our theme this year, Wallace was an easy choice. His three favorite beers: the Alchemist Heady Topper, Russian River Supplication, Triple C Up All Night.