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.

Briarbank, Homebrew Competition is back for the third year.

Here at the Briarbank Bar and Brewery, we are excited to be bringing our Homebrew Competition back for the third year.

Taking place over the weekend of 27 – 28 October 2018, the competition is open to all homebrewers including extract and all-grain and gives you the chance to brew your beer in our very own microbrewery, with our master brewer Robert Lewis-Pyke, and of course, see it served behind our bar.

All entrants are required to submit three labeled 500ml bottles no later than 20th October 2018. Judging will then take place a week later, on 27th October. Full details on the competition, including categories and entry forms, can be found on our Homebrew Competition page.

Last years winner John Watson created Hobo’s Gold, a strong pale ale which is full bodied, full of citra and hops, to give it a great citrus taste. Commenting on his experience, ” I had a memorable day brewing my Briarbank Brewery Homebrew Competition winning Beer recipe. From weighing out the Grain and hops to pitching the yeast at the end of the day, it was a totally hands-on experience, under Rob’s input and watchful eye. Then to pull off a pint of it from the Briarbank bar a few weeks later was the icing on the cake! Thoroughly enjoyable.”

An awards event will be held on 29th October, in which the category winners and the overall winner will be announced. All entrants are encouraged to attend the awards ceremony with a bottle or two of their creation for others to try.