The Florida Medal – My 50 State Medal Pursuit

I wasn’t sure what to pick as my Florida Medal for this project. Florida is the state I first started this hobby, and for the first four years of competing, it was the only state I competed in.

Since I started tracking this project in 2023, I figured picking a medal from the 2023 season would be appropriate. As luck would have it, I won my first Best Of Show in the first competition of the 2023 Florida Season.
So for the Florida Medal, I’m talking about my gold medal Pale Ale from the 2023 Coconut Cup held by the Miami Area Society of Homebrewers.
There was a whopping six-entry per brewer entry limit in the competition, so I felt confident I’d win something, but I never expected the huge day I had.

I maxed out my entries entering four beers and two meads. My first beer to be judged was a Dark Mild called “There’s no way this will win anything,” which was a self-fulfilling prophecy because it indeed did not win anything.

Next up was one of my most award-winning beers, an Old Ale called “Old Trouble Maker,” which brought home a bronze medal.
Following that was my first gold medal of the season. Some leftover Pale Ale I made for a festival named “Hipster Skull.”

The next of my beers to be judged was my Black IPA called “These Judges Made a Huge Mistake,” which won a silver medal.

My last two entries were meads; a traditional Orange Blossom Honey mead that didn’t place and a Cherry Melomel that won a bronze medal. I thought that was the end of my day at the Coconut Cup, and I could not have been happier.

But that wasn’t the end. The Best of Show winners were delayed due to a technical issue. About half an hour after the awards, a fellow club member called to congratulate me on my first-place Best of Show win for “Hipster Skull”!To say I was shocked is an understatement.

The 2023 Coconut Cup was the best showing I’ve had in my competition career and will likely be the best one I’ll ever have. And in all honestly, I’m completely fine with that. It was a great day.

Track the progress of this pursuit here, at the the 50 State Medal Tracker Page.

Big Monster Brewing

In 2016 Matt from NEOZAZ.com finally began to pursue a hobby he wanted to take up for decades – home brewing. This series is an audio journal and recap of each attempt at creating a unique beer from planning, brewing, kegging and tasting. There’s a lot of up and downs and some unexpected surprises throughout this learning path, but inevitably Matt always learns something new each episode. Grab and beer and check out this unique take on this fantastic hobby!

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