It’s bright outside. Summer is almost here and you need a little shade. Heading out for a beer but forgot your sunglasses? Then you’ll need something dark to hold up and block those rays – but you probably still want something hoppy. After all, for most of us, Stout season is just about over.
A nice, hoppy, Black IPA would do the trick, right? Well, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has you covered. Later today (6/1) they’re prepared to release a new Black IPA, and they had a little help with this one from a local homebrewer. Say hello to Beak & Claw Black IPA.
Do you homebrew? I started homebrewing way back in the late 80’s and I have more than 25 years of homebrewing experience. Sadly though, when I moved a few years back I didn’t have a good place to brew so I actually wound up selling my 10 gallon, all-grain brewing system rather than let it sit, gathering rust and dust (I’d rather see a brewer put it to good use). I have every intention of getting back into brewing again – and on an even larger system – but I’ll have to wait a few more years before I can make that happen.
I still have a great interest in homebrewing, even though I’ve allowed me membership to the American Homebrewer’s Association lapse until I have a new system, and I’m often impressed by some of the stellar beers being produced by homebrewers today. Equipment has improved, techniques are evolving all the time and homebrewing is as popular as it ever was, if not more so. This year marks the 40th year for the National Homebrew Conference (Homebrew Con), and thousands of homebrewers from across the nation will come together in Portland this June 28 – 30 to talk homebrewing, attend workshops, learn new techniques and more.
I first told you about Reuben’s Brews’ Hop Idol homebrew competition back in late 2016, and the first winner was announced in early 2017. Well, the Hop Idol competition returned again this year and Reuben’s is ready to announce this year’s winner.
Like last year, this year’s Hop Idol winner will get to help brew their winning recipe on Reuben’s system and will see their winning beer distributed throughout the Northwest. It will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.
Homebrewing is a big part of the craft beer World. In fact, many of today’s professional brewers started out as homebrewers themselves before launching their professional breweries. Many homebrewers enjoy entering their creations into local and national homebrew competitions. Winning an award for your homebrew is always a great feeling. I’ve won a few myself in my homebrewing days (though I’m between systems right now).
What if winning meant more than just a ribbon or certificate? What if winning meant that your beer could be scaled up, brewed on a professional brewing system and made available for commercial sale? Well that’s exactly what Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Sound Homebrew Supply are doing with their Really Big Georgetown Pro-Am Homebrew Competition.
Are you a homebrewer? Even if you aren’t, but you are a craft beer fan, I’m willing to bet you know at least a few people who are homebrewers. I myself first started homebrewing well over 20 years ago (but I’m between systems right now, which is killing me!) and back then, just like today, many homebrewers started out by trying to recreate some of their favorite craft beers at home.
Back in my early days, when craft breweries were few and far between, the holy grail for many homebrewers was to successfully reproduce or ‘clone’ beers like Sierra Nevada Brewing‘s Pale Ale. If you could do that as a homebrewer back in the early 90’s, then you really knew your stuff. The challenge was that you pretty much had to come up with the recipe on your own. The homebrewing community was much smaller, there were few helpful recipe guides and there was no brewing software like BeerSmith or Brewtarget to help you out.
Back in November of last year, I told you aboutReuben’s Brews‘ Hop Idol homebrew contest. As a call back to the homebrewing roots of founder Adam Robbings, Reuben’s Brews held this homebrew competition as a means to help inspire other homebrewers to chase their own brewery dreams.
Entrants could submit up to 5 entries each and all entries were due by January 17th. The judging took place the week of January 21st and now Reuben’s Brews is ready to announce the winner who will get to brew their beer with Reuben’s and see it distributed throughout Western Washington. The winning beer will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.
There are lots of great craft breweries in the Seattle area, and many of those breweries were founded by people who started off as homebrewers before making the leap to professional brewer. Adam Robbings, founder of Reuben’s Brews is one of them.
As a call back to Adam’s homebrewing roots, Reuben’s Brews has announced a homebrew competition as a means to help inspire other homebrewers to chase their own brewery dreams. The winner will receive a cash prize but, more importantly, will brew their winning homebrew with the crew at Reuben’s Brews and see their beer on tap at Reuben’s and in limited distribution around the Northwest. So fire up those brewing kettles and bring out your very best homebrew recipes, because (in my best Ryan Seacrest immitation) this… is Hop Idol!
The winners have just been announced for the 2016 US Open Beer Championship. Unique in it’s format, the US Open Beer Championship is the only brewing competition to allow award winning home brewers to compete against commercial breweries Worldwide. Beers from 95 different categories (including non-alcoholic) were ranked and the top 10 breweries and medal winners were also listed.
Are you ready to help one of Seattle’s newest brewery startups hit the ground running? Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Company, in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, has launched their Kickstarter campaign and they need your help to reach their goal of raising $13K by Wednesday, July 10th, 2013. Your donation of as little as $3 will put you among an elite group who are excited to see Bad Jimmy’s succeed. They are also offering incentives to their backers. The more you donate, the greater your reward. Click HERE to see the full list of incentives and rewards including: Keychains, Bottle Openers, T-Shirts, Posters, Private Parties, Tank Naming Rights and more. I’ve been keeping you up to date with what’s going on at Bad Jimmy’s since February and, now that all their licenes are in place and things are ramping up, it looks like July will be the ‘magic’ month they’ve been waiting for to finally open their doors.
Zymurgy Magazine, the official magazine of the American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA), has released their 2013 list of the best beers in America (as voted on by Zumurgy readers/AHA Members). This is the 11th year Zymurgy has released this list and, for the 5th year in a row, Russian River Brewing‘s Pliny The Elder has come out on top. Congratulations to them and also to Bell’s Brewery who has taken the number 2 spot the past 4 years in a row with their Two Hearted Ale.
As I’m sure most of you know, Russian River Brewing does not currently distribute to Washington state, but I believe we have some excellent ‘stand ins’ that do a great job of satisfying our craving for hoppy tripple IPAs (including but not limited to ‘Whiny The Complainer’ from Big Time Brewery & Alehouse and ‘Cry Me A River’ from Naked City Brewery and Taphouse). Bell’s Brewery beers are also quite difficult to find in Washington, but perhaps you can find a beer buddy or two futher East who you can make a trade with.