The Cocounut Cup annual homebrewing competition came to its boozy finale at the Titanic Restaurant and Brewery this past Saturday around five in the afternoon. Judging began at nine in the morning (the fourth consecutive day of heavy judging/boozing for most present) with Belgian entries, then progressed into fruit beers. Unlike wine tasting, it is not customary for judges to spit out samples, save for extreme circumstances. One modest spittoon remained half-empty for the duration of the contest.
New Times arrived on the scene in a bullet proof vest, coming just off of a Purple Haze-guided tour of Opa-Locka to find a room of about 25 salty aficionados buying raffle tickets and crossing their fingers in the anticipation of free yeast and hops.
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Sunlight shone freely through the open front and back doors and the smell of spilled beers cemented the atmosphere of an ancient Irish public house. Curious patrons stood idly by while every brewer in the southern half of the peninsula agonized over beery minutia —turning up noses, slurping measured sips and getting progressively more merry.
Tables located at the center of the room abounded with reject bottles: everything from coconut stouts to lychee meads.
The Miami Area Society of Homebrewers took six gold medals, six silvers and four bronzes. (This reporter's H.R. Chubbykins III Esq. Southern English Brown Ale took a gold medal in its category).
While Best in Show went to a man from West Palm Beach for his Coconut Heffeweizen, the Miami Area Soceity of Homebrewers will maintain the Coconut Cup (a middling wooden trophy) at the Titanic for yet another year. --Calvin Godfrey