JUNEAU, Alaska ... Alaskan Brewing Company will be organizing a new homebrew competition in Juneau that builds on the tradition of the long-running Autumn Pour competition, and adds exciting new features. There will be an entirely new category, a grand prize that includes a cash award, and the chance to brew a beer with Alaskan Brewing.
“A passion for homebrewing and living in Alaska were the roots of starting Alaskan Brewing. We have been supporters of the homebrewing community since our inception. We hope that by building on the excitement of this event we can attract more homebrewing innovation throughout Alaska” said Alaskan Communications Manager Andy Kline.
Kline added that the brewery sponsors a national Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) training course and rigorous exam for homebrewers, including employees, and he believes Alaskan Brewing has more certified beer judge employees than most commercial breweries in the nation. Expanding the opportunities to judge in Alaska is another reason that Alaskan Brewing is focusing more effort on this event.
“We took a number of steps to draw in more participants and increase the excitement level of this competition,” Kline said. “We are going to award a cash prize of $500 to the winner of the Best of Show, plus we will give the winner an opportunity to come into our brewery and brew on our one-barrel system with one of our brewers. This is an extremely rare opportunity, and the first time we have offered this to anyone outside of our brewery.”
Kline said that people at the brewery also thought about what might connect the competition to the brewing tradition in Juneau, which has thrived since the gold rush days. “We thought about some of the cooking competitions that assign people a ‘challenge ingredient’ and hit on the idea of incorporating a local ingredient into part of the competition,” he said.
That idea led to the creation of the ‘Challenge Cup” portion of the competition for any beer brewed with this year’s challenge ingredient – Sitka Spruce tips. The winner of the Challenge Cup will receive the same opportunity to brew with an Alaskan brewer, and will also receive the Challenge Cup for a year – a specially designed trophy meant for sharing throughout the year.
To entice brewers throughout Alaska that may not have access to this special challenge ingredient, Alaskan Brewing is offering to provide Sitka Spruce tips to any homebrewer that wants to enter the competition – sent directly to the homebrewer from Alaskan’s stash of Sitka Spruce tips picked every year in Gustavus, Alaska.
The competition will be held on October 14, and the brewery is throwing a special party in celebration of AKtoberfest! Details on the party will be coming out in the near future.
Any homebrewers interested in submitting beers can do so between Sept. 18 and Oct. 6. Anyone interested in receiving Spruce Tips can fill out the request form at alaskanbeer.com/homebrew.
For more information and updates, check out Alaskan Brewing Co. online at www.alaskanbeer.com.