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When I get down to the breakfast room everyone is wearing green. We're having a photo taken and are supposed to be wearing the judge shirt they've provided. I nip back upstairs to change into it.

Martyn arrives, not wearing green. “Why aren’t you wearing your judge’s shirt?”

“Green really isn’t my colour.”

The session starts with a group photo. Which is why we were asked to wear our green shirts. I notice that, after all, Martyn is wearing his.

Just as we’re breaking up after the snap, three more judges. Appear in the distance. Just too late to be included.

I'm on a different table today, with two new judges: Brazilian Eduardo Pelizzon and Chilean Gabriel Lara Martinez. Whom I recognise as, I judged with him in Chile a couple of years back. A really lovely bloke. Quiet, but knows his stuff.

Both are brewers. This how I like to judge. With people more knowledgeable than me, so I can conceal my own ignorance more easily.

Yesterday they said they'd try to give me some British styles today. We kick off with Irish Red. Great.

I explain to my companions: "It's a made-up style." But we crack on, anyway. In the first group, nothing's even vaguely worthy of going through.

When the second flight comes out, I assume it's a different style, as some of the beers are as pale as Boddies. Nope, it's more Irish Reds. Well, that's made my job easy. There are two OK beers. By that, I mean ones without faults.

The beers in the next flight are all very pale. Turns out this is fine, as the class is Speciality Saison. Which seems to mean Saison with other shit in it.

Surprisingly, most of them are pretty good. A couple are outstanding. Finally, some really good beers. Only a couple of my glasses are undrained at the end of the tasting.

That's us done for the first round and it's only 11:30.

We quickly have yet another buffet lunch in Eisenbahn Bierhaus. At least it isn’t exactly the same every day. There’s a German theme today. So lots of pork.

"Do you fancy a pint?" Eduardo asks after we’ve finished eating.

"Of course."

"You English are always ready for a pint." he replies. How very true. Eduardo lived in Dublin for a couple of years and understands Irish/British culture well.

We head over to Bier Vila, which luckily isn't far, given how hot it is.

Eduardo had been telling me about Catharina sours, so we try samples of a couple, then decide on a lovely pink one.

We start talking about beer history. He asks; "The story about Ale conners - is that true?"

I'd seen Martyn enter the bottle shop a couple of minutes before. No longer in his green shirt.

"I'm pretty sure it's bollocks, but I've just spotted the man who can give you the full story."

I fetch Martyn.

"Do you want a beer?" Eduardo asks.

"Not just now."

"What? You're English. You always want a pint."

Martyn then demolishes the leather britches story.

The waiter comes around and Martyn says: "Go on then, I will have a beer."

Eduardo mentions the Oxford Companion to Beer and we explain its variable quality. He looks quite surprised. We then go through several other beer history myths. Eduardo looks slightly distraught.

"What I've been teaching is all wrong."

I've still most of my second beer when it's time to leave.

"Don't worry," Eduardo says. "You can get a plastic glass and take it with you." A sort of liquid doggy bag. What a civilised country this is.

We're doing mini Best of Show this afternoon.

The first flight looks promising: the beers are pitch black. "I'm guessing they're Imperial Stout."

They are. British-style Imperial Stout. I take a look at the style guidelines:

"Traditional British-style Imperial Stout can be dark amber."

You fucking what? I have a mini rant about how totally and utterly wrong that is. Luckily none of the beers is anything less than black.

They're all reasonable, with a couple pretty good. We agree on the three best, then each award 3 points to the best, two to the second and one to the third. Then add up the points to see which beer gets which medal. It's all over pretty quickly.

The next flight is a single beer. Brown Porter the style. I don't even have to taste it as just from the aroma I can tell it's riddled with faults. No Best of Show for that.

And that's us done. Brilliant. It's only 14:30. I'm free.

Then Fe comes up and says: "Don't leave, Ron. You're judging Best of Show." Damn.

Eduardo and Gabriel escape. Bastards. I hang around for a while with Gordon Strong, who's also judging Best of Show.

"Why did they pick me?"

"They saw your name in the BJCP guidelines."

I knew getting involved with the evil empire was a bad idea. At least we’ll be done today, leaving tomorrow as an unscheduled free day. I’ll need it after this marathon.

Most of the other tables are still busy with mini Best of Show. So we hang around. Some of the tables are taking forever.

By the time everyone is done, it's getting on for 5 PM.

Fe comes over. "There are 54 beers in Best of Show. We'll be ready to start in about 5 minutes."

Gordon is appalled. "Best of Show is rarely more than 20 beers. The most I've done before is 30. It's going to take all night." Bum.

We have a discussion on how to do the judging and settle on 5 flights, max. 3 beers from each go forward to a final round. It's not going to be quick.

It turns those 5 minutes are 5 Brazilian minutes. Which seem to be quite elastic. It's 5:30 when we finally get going.

There are 7 of us - me Martyn, Melissa, Gordon, Scott, Peter Bouckaert and 2 Brazilians.

We have some lively discussions. Very lively at times. Which means we're taking 30 minutes for an 11 beer flight. As the clock ticks on, I realise I've no chance of meeting Martyn as arranged at 7 PM in the hotel. And, not having a phone, I can't get in touch to warn him.

Melissa remarks: "It's strange we've never judged together before."

"What? Don't you remember our argument about Harvey's Imperial Stout?"

"Oh, yes. It tasted like shit, though. Literally excrement."

"What do you mean? It's one of the best beers in the world."

"It tastes like shit, Ron." I decide to leave it there. Don't want to waste any more time.

I arranged earlier to meet Martyn in the hotel lobby at 7 PM. I’m never going to make that.

The judging takes 3 hours. At the end there's near unanimity on the best two beers. The only dispute is about which gets gold and which silver. My first choice gets outvoted.

I get an Uber with Scott. His friend Fatima has been waiting patiently outside for hours.

The barbeque we're going to kicks off at 18:30, with the meat arriving at 20:30. I'm worried it will all be gone by the time I get there. Especially as I’ve already paid for it.

I spot Martyn straight away. I'm relieved that he isn't still waiting at the hotel.

I grab myself a beer to calm down. Then get stuck into some of the meat. There is still plenty left, luckily.

There was music billed for tonight. I thought it would just be the duo playing when I arrived. But various judges stand up and sing with them. Mostly hard rock. Highway to Hell, Paranoid. But also Blitzkrieg Bop. South Americans are nothing like as reserved as us Northern Europeans. I remain firmly glued to my seat.

"Beer judges in Britain would never do this." Martyn remarks.

I'm fading well before the party is over. Me, Martyn and Stephen order an Uber. I'm as knacked as 10 knackering sticks. Bed is all I'm thinking of. Especially as the hotel bar has already closed.

Though there's just enough time for a Bowmore to lull me to sleep.

Eisenbahn Bierhaus
R. Alberto Stein, 199.
Setor 4 - Velha, Blumenau

Choperia Bier Vila
R. Alberto Stein, 199,
Velha, Blumenau

Jeep clube Blumenau
R. das Canelas, 69
Itoupava Norte, Blumenau