Back of the Closet - May 2020, #BotCW summary


So here's the summary post of the Back of the Closet Weekend -BotCW-, which as you know from the previous entries is a collective virtual event consisting of taking out beers that, for one reason or another, be it accidental or voluntary, have been waiting for their moment in the depths of our closets or cellars for some time.

After its celebration, I would like to highlight the satisfaction for the good reception that the event has had, with a very remarkable number of participants and beers. Although the most positive thing, in my opinion, is the generation of content and reflections around beer that it has triggered, sharing impressions and experiences, recalling past times when the local community online was a powerful source of disclosure, constructive discussion and thought leadership. Many of us miss it.

It is clear that this is a merely periodical amusement, although in the sense of the above there are reasons in my opinion to propose a new call within a few months. But there will be time for this: let's go for the summary of the current one.


Summary


Nostalgia events can become a simple reunion of old rockers who want to remember the good old times, but if we talk about this confinement edition of the #BotCW, I daresay we have achieved something further. With a participation of 22 people, almost equalising the best previous record, considering a non-intensive promotion and a lesser time to sign up than in the past, the feelings in this regard have been very positive.

It is also remarkable that the previous number included up to 9 new participants: Beer Labs, Ca la Neus, Chafarda Vulgaris, Diego Cotoya, Gaudint Cervesa, Jorge Arza, Kamon IPA, Lautaro Cozzani and Street Experience. Welcome everyone. Together, they have retrieved 14 beers from their closets, out of a total of 47 throughout the weekend.

Of these, 40% were Imperial Stouts, followed by Belgian Strong Dark Ales and, further afield, Barley Wines. Of course, seeing how these are styles that can age gracefully, we can venture to say that many of these were aged voluntarily. As a curiosity in terms of styles, the appearance of a Braggot, specifically the collaboration between Reptilian and Yria that Chafarda Vulgaris took.

By origin, I am pleased to see that almost half of them were Catalan and Spanish beers, closely followed by Belgian beers, and the remaining 21% from various countries. The most exotic ones, in this case, were the two Argentine Barley Wines that Lautaro Cozzani had, from Triskell Brewing Co. and Juguetes Perdidos with Somos Cerveceros.

If you are wondering why there have been 7 beers from a single brewery during the event, buy a few bottles of De Struise and set some of them aside to drink in a few years. The second-ranking brewery is La Pirata, thanks to a vertical tasting of 5 bottles, followed by a classic from the event such as De Molen and a surprising one, El Oso y El Cuervo, which despite being defunct shows the relevance it had for the scene with the appearance of up to 3 different beers in this BotCW edition.

If we talk about specific beers, two vertical tastings must be highlighted: the aforementioned, with 5 bottles of La Pirata Black Block -2016 to 2020-, by Mikel Rius; and another one consisting of 3 Pannepot Reserve -2014 to 2016-, by Fran Encarnación. Moreover, three different vintages of the same single beer, Pannepot Grand Reserva, have been drunk by three different participants, Rodrigo Valdezate, Oliver Jimeno and Gaudint Cervesa.

Contrasting with the number of beers that have come out of the participants' cellars, very few pairings have been proposed. I would, however, highlight a couple of them: a classic one by Ca la Neus, matching a Brewdog Paradox Jura with tiramisu -which vanished after 24 hours in Instagram Stories; here's new trends for you-, and funny and delirious one by Kamon IPA, who dipped rosegons in his Skoria by El Oso y El Cuervo and Implik2.

With regard to aging, if we add the accumulated time of all the beers we can say that 3,461 months of own aging have been drunk, equivalent to 288 years. The average per beer of these figures would be 73.6 months, or 6.1 years. The oldest beer was produced by Txema Millán, a Rodenbach Classic with an expiration date of 1998: the only 20th century beer in the entire call. That's a proper back of the closet.

Mikel Rius, with his vertical tasting of five beers and two more bottles, has been the most prolific participant. On the second step there is a triple tie between Carlos Portolés, Jorge Arza and yours truly, although Jorge's case deserves special attention given that he found out about the call within 4 hours of its end. Pure dedication.

Finally, a brief comment to point out that most of the publications have been shared through Facebook, further proving to be the quintessential social network of our local beer scene, with a notable growth in Instagram and very little activity on Twitter. Oliver Jimeno was the only one to publish audio-visually through his YouTube channel, and the participation of Carlos PortolésJose BenedictoLuis BlascoMiguel BaúlRodrigo Valdezate and yours truly served to prove that the blogosphere is not yet extinct.


Highlights

Photos by Beer Labs, from its Instagram account

Just above this paragraph you have what in my subjective opinion has been the best photo of the call: a Naparbier beer that many of us enjoyed back in the day, and very recently has Beer Labs.

In terms of writing, I would like to highlight the one by Luis Blasco on Medium, who far from writing just about his experience with the two beers has taken the opportunity to share a good article in which he visits aspects of the long and romantic history of the Lambic, and from the short but promising trajectory of one of the trendiest breweries: Peninsula.

At the experience level, I choose the story of a veteran and passionate #BotCW participant, Carlos Portolés, who drank a 2015 Black Albert to the health of his father. I am sure that within the scale of evaluations he describes, so representative of the character and spirit of a generation of people in our country, he would have valued the beer and the company as 'it is strong'.


Participants

Beyond the summary, if you want to take a look at all the publications generated during the past #BotCW, I leave you below a link to each of them, with the name of the person or participating profile.


I hope that all the contributions are interesting to you, and that they give you the opportunity to meet new people and thus be able to expand and strengthen the network of beer enthusiasts.


Salut i birra!

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