Photo by Dr. Favian Guertin-Martín from the Brewvitational ranking.
Dr. Favian Guertin-Martín, assistant professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, joined a select panel of beer experts and enthusiasts at the May 13 Philadelphia Inquirer’s annual Brewvitational, where they ranked 82 Philadelphia area beers in the categories of new beers of 2019 and barrel-aged beers.
One of 16 judges tasked with crowning the winners, Dr. Guertin-Martín said the judges were broken into groups by specific types of beer. As a member of the sours group, they double-blind taste tested beers that are made to be acidic, tart, or sour on the palate. Each group selected their top two beers, which were then double-blind taste tested by all judges.
“It was an honor to be selected,” said Dr. Guertin-Martín. “This was my first time judging, and it was overwhelming in the beginning. There was a wide range of beers, and you wanted to be sure you were making the right choice. It ended up being an awesome experience and a great networking opportunity.”
In its 10th year and hosted by Inquirer restaurant critic and Drink columnist Craig LaBan, the “Brewvi” ranks the newest Philadelphia area beers based on taste, scent, and market trends. LaBan announced the winners in his May 30 Philadelphia Inquirer column taking home the crowns this year—Shoat German Pilsner from Sterling Pig Brewery for new beers of 2019, and Berliner Messe: Credo 2018 Spontaneously Fermented Pale Wheat Ale from the Referend Bier Blendery for the barrel-aged beers. LaBan noted that since the competition’s start, the beer industry in Philadelphia has evolved alongside the changing interests of the consumer.
“A decade ago, the Brewvi contenders were all about big double IPAs, lip-numbing hops bombs, and high-alcohol heavies,” wrote LaBan. “Over time, the competition has charted the scene’s shift into more diverse interests, with yeasty Belgian styles, fruity sours, a return to lagers, and the now-popular juicy Northeast-style IPAs whose hazy brews emphasize fresh hops aromatics over pure bitterness.”
Dr. Guertin-Martín was asked to participate in the panel after the Inquirer published an April 25 article about his course, “Untapped: Exploring the Socio and Cultural World of Beer,” which teaches students about the socio-economic impact of craft brewing in the region and provides a hands-on brewing experience at Crooked Eye Brewery in Hatboro.