2020 homebrew winner returned to brew his beer

It’s over a year since Stuart Betts won our fifth homebrew competition, and we’re pleased to say his creation, Water, Seeds, Flowers and Fungus, is now available to buy in our upstairs Tap Room.

Stuart returned to the Briarbank on Friday, 1 October, to brew his beer in our microbrewery, alongside our head brewer Robert Lewis-Pyke. Restrictions due to COVID-19 delayed Stuart being able to come in and claim his winning prize, but we’re sure you’ll agree, his beer is worth the wait.

Water, seeds, flowers, fungus is an American Pale Ale. A pale golden beer with a hoppy citrus flavour and a crisp bitter finish.

Stuart fought off tough competition from 43 entries, which is our best ever since starting the Homebrew Competition in 2016.

Since winning the competition, Stuart has decided to take the leap and brew beer commercially. He’s also become the Chairman of Dudley and South Staffordshire CAMRA.

Speaking of his experience, he commented, “I have sent beers away to a few homebrew competitions around the country and have done pretty well. So it was nice to win the Briarbank Competition. Who knew it would take a year before we would brew the beer? The brew went well. Rob is patient, and his attention to detail as a brewer was admirable. Good beer doesn’t generally happen by chance. After tasting all the beers in the Briarbank taproom. I quickly realised that nothing at Briarbank is left to chance. Briar Bitter, Suffolk Haze and Mocha Porter were my personal favourites. I will be visiting Ipswich again to taste the beer we brewed and also taking a cask back to the Black Country for the Dudley Winter Ales Fayre in November. Being able to serve the beer on the taps will be very special. Can’t wait.”

Our Homebrew Competition is set to return in 2022, but with exciting changes. We will be hosting our first ever Homebrew Festival on Saturday, 30 July 2022. It will be a ticketed event and will give our customers the chance to sample homebrewers’ beer across East Anglia. They’ll even be the chance to attend a tutored tasting session, plus various food items will be available. We’ll be judging the homebrew competition the day before, on Friday 29 July, meaning our visitors will have a chance to sample all creations from the competition. We can’t wait! Keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels – we’ll be releasing further details in the New Year.

To find out more details on our homebrew competition, head across to our homebrew page.