The Brewnosers Homebrew Competition

All posts tagged The Brewnosers Homebrew Competition

Howdy! Now that we’ve all had a chance to recover from last week’s excellent Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week… it’s time to dive into more beer news! Hair of the dog, right?

• Following up on last week’s news, we now have all the information on the third beer from Upstreet Craft Brewing. Joining Commons Pilsner and Do-Gooder APA as the inaugural-release beers, Rhuby Social is definitely a new style to the Island – a Strawberry-Rhubarb Witbier. Brewed with a simple malt bill and lightly hopped to 12 IBUs, it features several “traditional and non-traditional” spice additions at the end of the boil. It’s then fermented with a “subtly-flavoured” Belgian yeast, adding character while allowing the Maritime-sourced rhubarb and strawberries (which are added post-fermentation) to shine through. This all results in a tart (but not sour), refreshing, and easy-drinking (at 5% ABV) ale. Looking forward to when all of us can sample these beers for the first time!

Celtic Knot has recently rebrewed For Shore, their popular seasonal from last year. A Session IPA, this year’s batch features some slight changes: where the first version of this beer was hopped with two Australian varieties, Ella and Waimea, the new batch will feature Ella and two other varieties, Galaxy (Australia) and Mandarina Bavaria (Germany), both of which are known for being highly tropical and citrusy. Most of the hop additions came during the end of the boil and in the dry-hop, to maximize flavour and aroma while minimizing perceived bitterness. Coming in at 5% ABV and 35 IBUs, it should be available sometime in June; we’ll keep you updated on its release!

Big Spruce Brewing has released their first Blonde Ale, named Jilted Blonde. Weighing in at 5% ABV and 30 IBUs, this beer features the Australian Topaz hop exclusively. A renowned multi-purpose hop, with excellent bittering, flavour and aroma properties, Brewmaster Jeremy White decided to only use it in the later stages of the boil. The result is a great example of the hop’s characteristics. For an additional blast of Topaz aroma, a portion has been cask conditioned with a extra dry-hop charge, and will be available at Stillwell soon.

• This year’s Fredericton Burger Battle (organized by Eat New Brunswick) is quickly approaching (June 8th-21st), and to coincide, New Brunswick Beer Tours will be launching the first ever YFC Burger Battle Walking Tours. A series of four, 3-hour walking tours, each will feature six different sliders paired with a different Picaroons beer (8 oz per pour), at a different location (the key word here is “different”). Confirmed spots include the King Street Ale House, Brewbakers, Vault 29, The Blue Door, and Delta Fredericton. The type of sliders available will change from tour to tour (there are four dates, June 11th, 13th, 18th and 20th), and will vary from beef tenderloin, to chorizo, to pulled pork, and beyond! Each Thursday tour will start at 6 pm, while the Saturday tours begin at 1 pm; tickets can be purchased for $49 (all included) on the NB Beer Tour site now. Exercise, beer, and burgers… the perfect combination!

• Speaking of Picaroons, it’s been announced that they will eventually be opening a Brewtique-like location in Uptown Saint John, at 30-38 Canterbury St. Details are slim at the moment, but it is confirmed they will be occupying space at this address sometime in the future, where locals can expect to see several taps for growler fills, merchandise for sale, and a small brew system on-site. It’s also possible they will dedicate some taps to local, small breweries in the future. Stay tuned!

YellowBelly Brewery in St. John’s has released a summer seasonal this week, dubbed Summer Wheat. It is a light American Wheat Ale, brewed with 30% wheat malt, with the remainder of the grain bill being Canadian and English Pale Ale malts (2-row and Maris Otter). It is very light in appearance and slightly hazy due to the wheat content. It weighs in at 4.5% ABV, and is lightly bittered to 14 IBUs with Nugget and Cluster. It is also triple dry-hopped with Cascade, Topaz and Mosaic, for a substantial fruity aroma. From Brewmaster Liam McKenna, “I was worried it may turn into a sort of hop tea but the hop flavours have integrated well. It works perfectly as a taste of summer. It is light and hoppy but finishes extremely clean. A perfect patio beer.” Cheers to that! It is on tap at the brewery now, but won’t last long!

• There was some action at Paddys Irish Brewpub in Wolfville this week, as they took delivery of a new 7 BBL fermenter from DME. The expanded capacity will allow them to increase their draught and growler line-up to eight varieties, and to make lagers a regular part of their offerings. Speaking of which, look for their Helles lager on tap shortly.

• The very popular Cerberus IPA conspiracy brew between Big Spruce, Propeller and Tatamagouche breweries will make another appearance in bottles this morning, with a limited run available at Bishop’s Cellar. It has also been available on tap for growler fills at all three breweries (and occasionally at the growler stations at the private stores), and their stocks are getting low, so be sure and snag this one today!

• The Obey Convention VIII has kicked off in Halifax, and to celebrate, Garrison has brought back OBEY This Brew. Available in bottles now, and on tap shortly at the brewery for samples and growlers, this 5% ABV & 40 IBU Pale Ale will also be available at all of the OBEY shows (licensing permitting).

• As part of next weekend’s Atlantic Beer Festival, several spots in Moncton will be taking part in “Belgian Beer Week”, kicking off Sunday. Daily dinners and Belgian beer tastings at the Pump House Brewpub, Marky’s Laundromat, St James Gate and Plan B will feature different beers and breweries. Check the Festival’s Facebook page for exact details. Tickets are still available online for all three sessions of the Fest.

• Tickets for the NLC Beer Expo, being held June 5th and 6th at the Delta St. John’s Hotel, are on sale now. Priced at $82, they include unlimited tasting of more than 100 different beers and ciders (pamphlet with beer list is available here), pub grub, and a $10 taxi voucher. The show runs from 7-10 pm both Friday and Saturday, and tickets are available online here.

• The Gahan House Charlottetown Homebrew Competition has been narrowed down to the final 6 entries, with the judging happening this weekend. Judging will also take place for the Brewnosers Homebrew Competition this weekend. Good luck to all that entered!

As always, thanks for reading! The Acadie-Broue/Big Tide collaboration beer, La Gaboteuse II, is now available at the Big Tide brewpub for pints and growlers; this Belgian IPA won’t last long, so get down there quick to give it a try! This weekend, all four ANBL growler stations have a new version of Picaroons’ Blonde Ale… this batch has been dry-hopped with lots of Cascade. They’re calling it Selection Blonde Ale; you can also find a limited quantity at the Brewtique for growler fills. Picaroons is also holding a tap takeover tomorrow, May 23rd, at the Red Herring Pub in Saint Andrews; there’s no cover, and there should be lots of live music and beer! Petit-Sault‘s IPA, Soeur Catherine, is back once again at the brewery for growler fills, and is expected to be available in bottles, soon. TrailWay is holding another Cask Night at the King Street Ale House this evening, starting at 5 pm; they’ll have two casks pouring – their Hugh John Hops (DIPA), and a new American Stout (which should follow soon after on tap around Fredericton). And finally, in other Fredericton news, rumours have been circulating for months about Gray Stone Brewing, a brewery/taproom planning to open downtown (behind Wilser’s Room) in the near future. Recent artist renderings of the building have surfaced, and the city’s planning advisory committee have approved zoning. We’ll have more information on this new brewery for you, soon!

Brewnosers' Homebrew Competition Poster
The Brewnosers Homebrew and Beer Appreciation Club is hosting an Amateur Brewers Beer Competition May 23-25, 2015. While the Maritimes has seen an explosion of commercial breweries opening in recent memory, the homebrewing community has seen similar growth. A combination of new beer drinkers, those realizing not all beer is “fizzy yellow lager” and looking for beer with more taste, and those who enjoy the DIY culture and want to add beer to their repertoire are just a few of the groups to thank for this explosion. As Craft Beer grows, so does the Homebrewing community, and vice versa, as many commercial brewers start out as homebrewers looking to turn their passion into a career.
While getting comments on homebrew from family and friends is nice, it can be difficult to receive impartial feedback, especially if the beer is free and plentiful. Enter homebrew competitions, where homebrewers can receive honest feedback from judges drinking their beer blind, without any preconceived notions. Local breweries have supported this idea by giving homebrewers an opportunity to do that for years (Garrison Brewing, Big SpruceGahan House Charlottetown, and Hammond River to name a few), but those competitions are usually restricted to one style, as the winning brew will be turned into a commercial beer. With 23 categories and more than 80 sub-categories recognized by the BJCP, many homebrewers brew outside of these single styles.
This is where homebrew clubs come in! For more than 30 years, Canadian amateur/homebrew clubs have been holding competitions to allow entrants to receive honest feedback on their brews, earn some bragging rights, and maybe some cool prizes at the same time. Annual club competitions are hosted in Vancouver, CalgarySaskatchewan, Montreal, and many cities in between. In Halifax, the Brewnosers have previously hosted All About Ales in 1999, a combination homebrew competition and conference at John Shippey’s Brewing Company and Rogues Roost, but have not hosted an annual competition until now. Thanks to passionate Brewnosers members willing to donate their time to organize and judge the competition, Canada’s East Coast will become an integral part of the homebrew competition circuit. One driving force behind the renewed interest is Jeff Pinhey, one of the original Brewnosers members when the group formed in 1986. As a National ranked BJCP judge, he has lead study groups and beer seminars in our region, including guidance and study assistance for a crop of a dozen new BJCP judges in 2013. The Beer Judge Certification Program is an international non-profit organization encouraging knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of beer, by offering a standardized method for evaluation, ranking, and giving feedback. There are more than 15 BJCP judges in our region, who have taken both knowledge- and tasting-exams, and most of them will be taking part as judges (or participants) in this homebrew competition.
Registration for the Inaugural Brewnosers Homebrew Competition is now open, and accepting entries from amateur brewers from across the country. All BJCP beer styles are welcome, and will be evaluated by a team of BJCP-certified and industry-member judges. As the name implies, only beer brewed by amateur brewers, on non-commercial systems may enter (commercial brewers can/should enter the CBAs, whose registration ends April 1st). The competition is also registered as part of the Brewer of the Year, which tracks amateur brewing competitions across Canada. All entrants will receive honest feedback on their entries by means of scoresheets, and the top entries in each category may be eligible for prizes from competition sponsors. The Best of Show winning brewer will have the opportunity to work with Best Case Beer to produce a DIY Craft Beer kit from their winning beer, to be sold at homebrew shops across Canada. Other sponsors, as of publishing time, include Bad Apple BrewhouseBig Spruce Brewing, Breton Brewing, FastRack, Garrison Brewing, Ladies Beer LeagueSchoolhouse Brewery, Wrought Iron Brewing, and we here at the ACBB, with more groups expected to assist with category prizes and other sponsorship.
The deadline for registration is May 15 at 5pm, and must be done online at Samples (2 bottles of each entry) may be dropped off at any Noble Grape (in the HRM and in Coldbrook and Fredericton, with the Burnside location being the central point for accepting mailed entries) before the same deadline. Costs are $7 per entry (and $5 for subsequent, via online payment only), and the number of entries is being capped at one per sub-category and 15 total per entrant, and 325 overall. As of publishing time, there are more than 150 entries registered, from brewers across the country.
If you are interested in supporting the competition by means of sponsoring a category, or donating funds, merchandise or time towards the prizes and logistics of the competition, please contact Competition Coordinator Andrew Newton. The goal of the organizers is to have the competition break even, while providing the entrants, judges, and supporters a valuable and worthwhile event.