Finally, graft and corruption.

We went to Wichita yesterday for Equifest of Kansas, a horse-related expo. It was nice to get out of the house and go somewhere that we hadn't been before. On the plus side, to get there from here you go through the Flint Hills, which is the closest thing we have in Kansas to, well, hills. On the minus side, apparently I snore when I sleep, and I snore louder (or perhaps more) in hotel beds than the one at home, so neither my wife nor my daughter got as much sleep as they'd have liked.

For lunch on Saturday we went to River City Brewing Company in Old Town Wichita. They're in the middle of their 15th anniversary celebration, and the place was packed even at about 2 in the afternoon. For the occasion, they had on tap a porter aged in Bulleit bourbon whiskey barrels; it had a slight oaky, smoky flavor, as well as a touch of bourbon—which is not necessarily a bad thing. I also sampled an oak-aged old ale, which was tasty but had little to none of the oxidized character you usually find in an old ale. The chocolate bock was lighter in body than a traditional bock (note that I'm not talking about Shiner Bock here), but with some roasty, chocolately notes that you don't find in a maibock. The Rock Island Red was a good American pale ale, but not red enough for an American amber (which a red ale should qualify as).

Yes, I judge beer even when I'm out for food or fun. This time, I was aided and abetted by our friend Stephen, who not only is a horse person (we met up with him at Equifest) but also a fellow homebrewer from the NE Kansas area. He noticed that several customers were carrying T-shirts the same burnt-orange color as those the waitstaff were wearing, and asked our server about them. She said they weren't for sale, but the manager was giving them away to selected individuals at his discretion. Upon hearing this, Stephen and I pulled out our BJCP membership cards and explained that we are registered beer judges, and did that count for anything? Sure enough, she came back a few minutes later with T-shirts for us.

See? Being a beer judge is cool. :-)