On the other side of the table: Brad Clifford & Victor North judging beer at the 2013 OBAs. Photo By Enrique Barrios
Hamilton is very important to us here at Garden Brewers. And so is Homebrewing.
Homebrewing is how our brewer, Victor North, got his start. Homebrewing is how our flagship beer, Piperales, was developed. And homebrew competitions were the arena that tested our brewers recipes, techniques, and approach to beer. Homebrew competitions helped refine our style, test our skill, and teach us when we were on to something- as well as caution us when we were going astray.
That is why, along with Jason Stranak (co-founder of HOZER) and Brandi Lee MacDonald (co-founder of Because Beer) our brewer is co-founding Hamiltons first full-scale homebrew competition! The Because Beer Homebrew Competition! It's going to be great!
The BBHC is sanctioned by the BJCP, and is a qualifying competition for Canadian Brewer of the Year. We are extremely proud to be involved in this competition! So, of course, we are also sponsoring it: the homebrewer who takes first place in category 21A- Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer- will be taking home a Garden Growler along with their gold medal! And the homebrewer who takes silver will be getting a Tall Poppy tap handle for their home kegerator!
We decided to sponsor the SHV category because we have such a soft spot for it. We love those spice, herb and veggie brews!! It's where a lot of our favorite beers would be categorized under the BJCP system, where many of our past homebrewing medals were won, and where our Garden Brewers beers would be entered today. In fact, The Ships Rations won a silver medal for Veggie Brews in the 2014 Ontario Brewing Awards just a few months ago! This beer was crafted by our brewer at The Ship, Hamiltons famous craft beer bar, and while it will no longer be brewed at The Ship as The Ship's Rations, it will soon be reborn as Garden Brewers Green-Thumb IPA!
We encourage you to enter the BBHC- in any category. No matter your confidence or skill level. Homebrewing is not just a great hobby- it's a great culture- and homebrew competitions are a marvelous way to get out of the basement and actually meet some other brewers. And if you're really serious about beer, homebrew competitions can be a wonderful way to get your boots wet. Take a look at the results from the 2011 CABA All About Ales homebrew competition. If you are reading this (which I'm pretty sure you are) then you may just be an Ontarian beer nerd (no offense!) which means you may just recognize many of the names on that results list.
The incredibly skilled Brad Clifford has gone on to co-found Get Well and The Ontario Beer Company. Hirsch Goodman & Kevin Snow have developed and grown their uniquely delicious gluten-free beer into Snowman Brewing. Mike Bray has co-founded 5 Paddles with 4 other like-minded and talented homebrewers. Zack Weinburg has opened Toronto Brewing, finally filling a long standing need for a quality homebrew supply shop in Toronto, and of course, Victor North is our very own brewer. Some other frequent Ontario homebrew competition entrants and winners of that era not represented in that particular competition include Jeremy Coghill, who is currently opening the Lansdowne Brewery and Jeff Manol, who is currently opening The Muddy York Brewing Company. What an incredible group! And that's not everyone! We are thrilled to be counted amoungst this outstanding Ontario homebrew alumni, and to also count many of them as friends. All of which was made possible... by entering homebrew competitions.
If you brew beer at home, you should enter The Because Beer Homebrew Competition.
We'll see you at the awards ceremony!
-The Garden Brewers