It’s that time of year again, the Strong Island Homebrew Competition is just around the corner. The competition judging evening will be on the 20th March at The Merchant House on Highland Road kicking off from about 6:30 with beers being dropped off for entry. Hard to believe but this will be our 9th year and we’ve made a few tweaks to the proceedings, including adding a fourth category for ciders.
As always, the entered brews will be judged on taste, aroma, colour, drinkability, name and presentation/labelling. Each entry will be placed into one of the four categories listed below:
Light Beers – Not light in terms of ABV, but light in terms of pale ales, IPAs, APAs, blonde beers etc. Please note: if you are entering an Amber ale, Red ale or English Bitter please enter into this category. Also if you are planning on entering a Black IPA you will have to be in this category.
Dark Beers – This will be open to stouts, porters, dark brown ales and winter brews.
Alternative Brew – This category is made to really let the skills be shown of your home brewing talent! This will be open to Saisons, Sours, Fruit Beers, Belgian styles (and there are lots!) as well as any other style that doesn’t fall into categories 1 or 2.
Cider – This shouldn’t need too much of an explanation.
If you are unsure as to which category to enter it doesn’t matter, just bring your brew along with you and the judges will help determine which category it will fit into. With that, the judge’s decision is final as to which category the beer goes into so any questionable entries will be discussed with them prior to entry.
The judging panel will include Malcolm Irving from Irving & Co. Brewers in Portsmouth, Josephus Ross from Staggeringly Good Brewery and Mark Bryant of Get Brewing on Elm Grove, suppliers of every element of home brewing kit you can imagine. Your host for the evening will be Stuart Ainsworth from The Merchant House.
This year there will be 2 titles up for grabs, Cask Winner and Keg Winner. These will be decided by the judges themselves and you as a competition entrant cannot choose to solely enter either category. The cask winner will be brewed by Irving & Co Brewers Ltd. and the keg winner by Staggeringly Good. The cider category will still run under its own prize.
You can enter as many entries as you like either as an individual or as a team. If you’re not entering, the beers are always up for tasting at the end as well as the other ciders, providing the judges haven’t sunk them all by the end!