After a hiatus last year caused by the New Crown virus, the annual Gold Coast Amateur Brewing Competition (GCABC) returned to the local beer calendar on June 26th.
The competition is coordinated by the Gold Coast Homebrewers Club (GoldCLUB), who are good friends of ours and hold regular meetings on the second Friday of each month at our Biggera Waters brewery (Stout II).
This year’s competition had the largest turnout ever, with 275 keen amateur brewers competing for beer bragging rights and a share of the major prizes.
In addition to our local legendary Gold Club, a number of other Queensland amateur brewing clubs have also enjoyed success including Sunshine Coast Brewery,
Anarchy Tuns, Brisbane Amateur Beer Brewery, Pine River Underground Brewing Society (PUBS), Backyard Brewers GC and Toowoomba Beer Appreciation Society.
Last year, we participated in the Home Brewing Act by taking part in our Dark Hop Reserve at Home Brewing Competition, where amateur brewers brew our core series of beers at home.
protocols of a professional competition. This amateur judging experience helps our team become managers or judges of industry level events.
The criteria for the beer championship is to brew at least three beers, and each participant’s score is calculated as the average of their highest scoring three beers.
This year’s beer champion was Golden Globe Club member Sam Midler, ranked right behind runner-up Max Plank.
Here’s what Sam had to say about the experience; “I’m very excited! I’m a very passionate brewer and strive to brew well-made, trouble-free beer,
so winning a competition like this proves that I’m on the right track. The beer championship award actually broke the tie and I ended up winning the gong award based on the countdown. The overall standard of beer brewing was convincingly high, with some high scores seen in all categories.
I entered many beers in the competition, from a rare historical Piwo Grodziskie (Polish smoked beer, aka Polish Smoker) to a Russian Imperial Strong Ale and a German beer. In competitions, I usually combine tried and true recipes and try styles that have never been brewed before.
The feedback you get from these competitions is invaluable for improving your recipe and process, as your beer is judged by at least one professional brewer/certified beer judge. I was lucky enough to have 5 beers score over 40 points that day.”
Thanks to his efforts, Sam will soon be brewing a collaborative beer in the brewing area of Burley (our brewing neighbor, just around the corner from the Black Hops headquarters). It’s something he’s very excited about;
“Jez and the whole team at the precinct are very easy-going and produce some top-notch beers, so I’m excited to get up on the brew deck with them and knock out one of my recipes. Since the championship brewer initially turned out to be a tie,
they were also kind enough to invite the reserve champion (Max Planck) to also brew a collaboration beer – which was awesome!”
Second place went to anarchist Jeremy Macgregor’s Little Table Saison, and third place went to seven beers, including Sam’s Polish Smoke (aka Polish Smoke) and two beers from Max Plank, a cherry sour and a mazan .
To see a complete list of the evening’s results, visit the GCABC website.It’s always fun to support the amateur brewing industry, which is where most of us inevitably start on our beer journeys. Encouraging the grassroots helps keep the craft beer industry alive and growing.
As always, if you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below.
(All photos courtesy of Aydos Rogers, an active member of the Queensland homebrewing community.)