7th Annual SOBA National Homebrew Competition
7th Annual SOBA National Homebrew Competition – a mammoth task for judges
The call is being put out nationwide to homebrewers for entries into SOBA’s (Society of Beer Advocates) 7th annual National Homebrew Competition to be held in Hamilton on 2nd and 3rd November.
Competition organizer Greig McGill is expecting the number of entries to exceed 400 which will eclipse previous years and put plenty of pressure on judges. “Tasting more than 400 beers in two days is not easy work. It requires a lot of focus and discipline, and all this will be under the discriminating gaze of a public viewing gallery. So there’s no room for slip ups.” Mr McGill puts the increased interest down to the general rise in awareness and popularity being seen in the industry, in particular the start-up of an unprecedented number of small microbreweries. “Much of the innovation in the New Zealand beer industry has come from homebrewers who have turned professional. The competition has definitely been a launching pad for aspiring brewers to start brewing commercially”.
To match the anticipated high number of entries, a stellar cast of 12 beer judges, two of which have judged at the prestigious World Beer Cup in the USA, have been assembled.
Also planned, and a first for the competition, is a celebrity judge in the person of iconic entertainer and current Newstalk ZB broadcaster, Danny Watson.
The previous year’s competition saw some new innovations being introduced which heightened the enjoyment for participants, including live tweeting of results and access to results and comments from the competition website.
The competition will be held at the Ruakura Research Campus in Hamilton and is sponsored by Mangrove Jacks, NZ Hops, and Brewers Coop, with the grand prize of a commercial brewing “beer scholarship” to be provided by BeerNZ. Entries cost $15 or $10 if you are a SOBA member, and full details can be found at http://nhc.soba.org.nz.