2018 Homebrew Competition winners

Another year has flown by, and over the last weekend in October we found ourselves judging our third Homebrew competition. 2018 could possibly be compared as the best year yet, on the number of entries, and of course the quality of the beer. With over 30 beers entered, it was always set to be a tough line-up, and the judges (and myself) had a great afternoon critiquing all of them. It’s a hard job.

Our Homebrew competition is open to all levels of brewer, from extract to all grain, and the entries proved that there really is some great beer being made at home. As always, it’s really great to see what people are producing, and how far homebrewing has come from the stigma of yeasty odd tasting beer made in a bag on the back of the door.

We host a number of categories in the Homebrew competition, to try and cover a range of styles, but these are semi-fluid and can possibly change upon the number of entries. If you’re looking to enter the 2019 competition, be sure to check out homebrew page for the latest updated category listings.

We were joined by judges from a range of beer backgrounds. We had some long serving CAMRA members, a beer blogger, distributor, and even our new trainee brewer. All of which undertook the task of spending the afternoon scrutinising the appearance, taste, aroma, and style of our entries. It was a long afternoon, but by the end of it, we had six category winners, and an overall grand champion of the competition.

So onwards to the winners! Each of the category winners had the beer scored highest in that particular category. They were judged against the others in the category, and these are what the judging panel thought really stood out.

  • Old Ales, Milds, and Brown Ales – The Nightfly by Pete Young – A great example of a Ruby Mild.
  • Stouts and Porters – Yergy-The-Chef by James Pettifor – A delicious Oatmeal Stout, quoted ‘breakfast in a glass’
  • Speciality – Mulberry Bush by Nick Davis – A beautiful fruit porter packed with winter flavours.
  • Standard Pale Ales – Homeland Honey ale by Andris Mcgee – A great pale ale with a refreshing hint of honey coming through.
  • Bitters – Sir Lancerhop by John Watson – A great Amber Ale, with a fruity aroma and peachiness in flavour.
  • Strong Pale Ales – Cascading Goat Ale by Nigel Scarie – A lovely pale ale, described as ‘like drinking an English orchard’.

Each of these winners will be joining us at the brewery for a tour, meal and of course some beers while we talk brewing and beer for an afternoon.

The winners of each category were once again laid out and judged, against each other. The outstanding beer that came top of these was named the overall champion, and that went to John Watson with Sir Lancerhop. John’s beer really hit the spot with the judges, its fruity aroma and complex taste scored it just high enough over the rest of these fantastic beers, and John will be joining us in the brewery to replicate this beer for all to try when we serve it across our venues, in Briarbank, Isaacs on the Quay, and The Gardeners Arms!

If you would like to enter our 2019 competition, you can do so easily via our online entry form. Entrants can enter up to three categories each, and there is no entry fee for this competition. We are confident we will see an ever growing array of great quality beers as our competition grows! We can’t wait to see what 2019 brings.