National Homebrew Competition 2011

Today, I have the pleasure of being part of the National Homebrew competition. This is an occasion that I have longed to see and get too, I can’t wait.

This is pretty significant, some 150+ (turned out to be 258) entries, being judged by luminaries such as John Keeling, Brewing Director at Fullers, Justin Hawke of Moor brewing in Somerset, Chris Kay & Brett Ellis of Bristol Brewing, Des DeMoor, Mike of the Durden Park Beer circle, and BJCP qualified judges, and little old me.

Considering that some of the most innovative, interesting and novel beers that I have had in the past few years have been Homebrewed, or Homebrewer-turned-probrewer created, I am very excited to see what’s going to be poured.

I am also intrigued to see how the mix of commercial brewers and BJCP functions; I can’t wait to learn, see how others approach and decide those deserving of applause.

So, leaving home in Sunny Kent at 4am, I arrived down in the west country some three hours later. I am just stuffing some food in my face and then a little drive up to Bristol, with the Hawkes of Moor Brewery.

I’m going to try to add some pics and notes during the day. I shall also
add to @beermerchants on Twitter.

Have a great Saturday.



Ali Kocho Williams giving early instruction as to the days running order.


First Beer of the day...


which turns out to be a gusher....

Through the first round we judged some cracking Sour, german wheats and Fruit beers; lovely Raspberry Berliner Weisse, Passion Fruit Wit, Chocolate vanilla Stout and a crystal Weisse!


Our Flight summary sheer


greg - dreadpenguin and I catching up over lunch.


much needed carb intake. Coffee isn't very good as a stomach liner for a beer event.

And after lunch… We’re on to IPA’s. (oh jeeze)


Paul Henderson over Chris from Warminsters' shoulder


The scores of the IPA's.


How not to fill a bottle.

Now on to the double IPA‘s… As I slide off my chair under the table…

So, one lovely double IPA. And off for a burrito.

Congrats to Tom Dobson and Graeme Coates for great beers!

Well done Ali and Bristol beer factory for such a well done and interesting event!

258 entries!!! Wow!

More next year!


Ali sorting out the prizes and raffle prizes.

I for one, would love to see the format of the judging pushed out for wider beer competitions. It works well, gives feedback and is measurable.

And the best beers won! I can’t wait to see next years event.

Copied from Ali, the competition organisers twitter feed, subject to confirmation.

American Pale Ale; 1 Richard Pearce, 2 Steve Syson, 3 Roger Parry

American Amber & Brown Ales: 1&2 Graeme Coates, 3. Adrian Chapman

ESB: 1. Andrew Jardine, 2. Paul Russel, 3. Sandy McClure

Scotish and Irish Ale, English Brown Ale: 1. Graham Kingham, 2. Paul Mills, 3. Matt Leaver

Light and Amber Hybrids: 1. David Halse, 2&3 Nigel Poustie

Smoke and Wood-Aged: 1. Ali Kocho-Williams, 2. Paul Russel, 3. David Halse

Strong Ales: 1=Andrew Jardine, Graeme Coates, 2. Andrew Jardine, 3. David Budd

Belgian Strong: 1. Owen Sheerins, 2. Steve Syson, 3. Tony Milner

Belgian and French Ales: 1. Graeme Coates, 2. Steve Wright, 3. Karl Noonan

IPA: 1. Richard Poole, 2. Andrew Jardine, 3. Roger Parry

Standard and Best Bitters: 1. Arkadiusz Makarenko, 2. Mark Hulston, 3. Mark Nelson

Amber Lager, Bock: Gareth Lester-Olivier, 2. Gareth Lester-Olivier, 3. Tony Milner

Porter: 1. Sandy McClure, 2. Mark Grundy, 3. Matthew Hicks

Stout: 1. Mike Plamer, 2. Roger Parry, 3. Allan Gayton

Club Trophy: Bristol Craft Brewers

Specialty: 1. David Wilton, 2= Adrian Chapman, Ali Kocho-Williams

Wheat beers: 1. Graeme Coates

Light and Amber Hybrids: 1. David Halse, 2&3 Nigel Poustie

Light Lager, Pils: 1. Gareth Lester-Olivier, 2. Steve Wright, 3. Ed Murphy

Best of Show – 1st Tom Dobson, 2nd Graeme Coates, 3rd Graeme Coates