Wednesday evening saw the 4th year of the Strong Island Home Brew competition at Little Johnny Russells and we were not disappointed. The best turnout of any year so far, and the quality was improved across the board to match the strong numbers.
A total of 12 entries were submitted to the restricted brew category with the winner being brewed by Irving & Co. Brewers and 4 entries battled it out in the unrestricted category which saw two lagers go up against two ciders.
An impromptu Best Label Design category was awarded for the evening due to the great detail and effort that had gone into all the labelling, and this was a duly deserved win by Jessica Watson & Chris Bulman for the Tucker’s lager labels.
Milton Pride cider scooped the unrestricted category for their third year in a row, this year being pushed hard by Tucker’s Malt & Maple Syrup and his Treacle & Brown Sugar lagers, as well as Pig & Pirate’s cider entry.
The restricted ale was a very tough choice for the judges Malcolm Irving and Stuart Ainsworth. Honourable mentions went to Kassassin Street Brewery’s Homegrown and Pig & Pirate’s Darkside Mild. Third place went to Pig & Pirate’s New World Pale Ale, second place was claimed by Shed Brew for their White S beer and the eventual winner was taken by last years winner also, Tyler Griffin, with his Malaccan Pirate Black IPA.
With his winning brew, Tyler aimed to pay homage to BrewDog’s Libertine Black Ale and the controversial style often referred to as a Black IPA. The recipe resembles an American IPA with prominent citrus, floral, and piney aromas, but modifies the grain bill via the inclusion of de-husked black malt. The adjustment conjures an opaque black colour while offering a subtle roastiness to the balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness. He says he has found that the style affords little margin for error in achieving the correct balance. The precarious balance gives rise to the name, Malaccan Pirate, which respects the treacherous shipping strait between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Malaccan Pirate will now go on to be brewed by Irving & Co. Brewers in late spring and will debut at Portsmouth Beer Festival before hitting the pumps around Portsmouth & Southsea and surrounding areas. A huge thank you to all who took part and everyone who has supported the event. We’re very proud of how the event has developed so far and are very much looking forward to our 5th year next year.
Below are a few photos, visit our Facebook page to see a load more: www.facebook.com/StrongIslandUK.