Category Archives: Past CBS Homebrew Events

Chicago Beer Society Homebrew Events and Functions

2010 Spooky Brew Review Homebrew Competition

October 30, 2010
9:00 amto5:00 pm

After a record number of entries in 2009, our annual Spooky Brew Review homebrew competition tries its luck in Warrenville as we celebrate its 19th consecutive year!

Rock Bottom LogoOur host this year will Rock Bottom Warrenville at 28256 Diehl Road in Warrenville, IL, located minutes from the Winfield Road exit on I-88. As usual, SBR will feature judging in all categories of the BJCP Style Guidelines. But a highlight is always the judging of the special Spooky (scariest) and Smashed Pumpkin (Worst of Show) categories, which definitely should not be missed. And for the fourth year in a row, we’ll also include Witches’ Brew, an open category for beer, mead, and cider brewed only by women (and last year was judged by women, too!).

NOTE: All entries for the Spooky and Smashed Pumpkin categories must be drinkable. Anything deemed otherwise by the Competition Committee will be DISQUALIFIED, and that’s very hard to do.

So, please plan on entering, judging, or stewarding Spooky Brew Review 2010. After almost 20 years it’s still here and we’re damn proud of it!

The competition package (including rules & regulations, entry forms, bottle labels, and a style chart) is now available for download here in PDF format. The entry fee is $7 per standard entry (2 bottles) and $2 for Witches’ Brew, Spooky Brew, and Smashed Pumpkin (1 bottle). Entries with fees can be dropped off from October 8-23 at Rock Bottom Warrenville, The Brewer’s Coop in Warrenville, and The Homebrew Shop in St. Charles, Brew & Grew Chicago (Kedzie north of Addison), or at the regular CBS First Thursday gathering on October 7 at Goose Island Clybourn.

Judges and Stewards – we need you! If you are interesting in serving as a judge or steward on October 30, please contact competition organizers Steve Hamburg (stevie @ chibeer.org, 312-401-0513) or Keith Stocker (keith @ chibeer.org, 312-523-7660). All general questions can also be directed to the organizers.

Big Brew Day 2010

May 1, 2010
8:00 amto8:00 pm

You are cordially invited to the annual celebration of the American Homebrewers Association‘s Big Brew Day. Homebrewers all across the country will be brewing batches of beer at the same time, including some of us. There are even some standard recipes (which we rarely follow).

Brewers, if you’re planning on coming, let Randy Mosher know so he can save some room. We’re always a little tight for space, but we’ll make every effort to accommodate all those wishing to brew. Randy has grain mills for malt and unmalted cereals, carbon-filtered water, etc., and also has space on the stove in the brewery in case someone wants to brew a batch of extract beer.

Of course, the party is mostly non-brewing participants, thank god, as we’d burn down the neighborhood otherwise. It functions as a warped open house event. Doors will be open from 8 am (brewers earlier by special arrangement). As far as food and drink, this is totally a pitch-in. We usually have a ploughman’s lunch (cheese, cured meat, pickles, etc.) midday, then get the smoker fired up (usually by Joe  Preiser, Pitmaster) and eat a hot meaty dinner later. We’ll have two grills available as well as the smoker. Don’t show up empty handed. Beer, meat, sides, snacks, and desserts are all welcome. The club will supply plates, forks, glasses. etc.

We have a big pile of firewood for the fire pit. You might bring a lawn chair with you if you care what you sit on.

Date & Time: May 1, 2009 8 am-until Roger leaves.

Location: Chez Mosher-Cline, at 1604 W. Lunt Ave, Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Lunt is 7000 north; that’s 4 blocks from the lake, 2 blocks east of Clark, about a 5 minute walk from the Morse Ave Red Line CTA stop. 773-973-0240. Also easily accessible from the Metra UPN North line stop (Rogers Park), just a couple of blocks away.

Spooky Brew 2009 Homebrew Competition Results

Congratulations to the winners of the 2009 Chicago Beer Society Spooky Brew Review Homebrew Competition. We had 304 entries this year, the most ever! Thanks to all the brewers who entered beers in this year’s competition.

When the dust settled and judging was completed, Calvin Rowland of Bolingbrook and the Urban Knaves of Grain won Best-of-Show with a superb Applewine (BJCP category 28C); CBS’s own Dave Phillips and his team (Kyle Swansen, Tony Kline) were runners-up with their Specialty beer (category 23), a hoppy Belgian Pale Ale with brettanomyces; Ron Stazuk kept his streak alive by capturing the Spooky and Smashed Pumpkin awards again. After a post-event review revealed a clerical problem with the Witches’ Brew scoring, co-winners were named:  Cindy Pillar and Katie Quiter with “Scary Spice,” who brewed a pumpkin ale with cinnamon and clove,  and Stephanette Smith with “Inky Pawprint,” a very fine dry stout. Also, special kudos to Michael Shannon of the Midnight Carboys for earning 1st place honors in 4 categories and 9 ribbons overall. Well done! The complete results are available here.

Emmett's LogoThe organizers owe a great deal of gratitude to brewers Ryan Clooney and Rob Hunter and all of the staff at Emmett’s Tavern & Brewing Company in Palatine for their incredible hospitality in hosting the event. Everyone on site was unbelievably helpful and patient; the lunch and beers were outstanding. We encourage everyone in the region to visit Emmett’s – great businesses like these deserve our support!

But even more, we really have to thank all of the Chicago area judges and stewards who stepped forward and did such a great job getting through our record number of entries.

Cheers,

Joe Preiser and Steve Hamburg, Organizers

2009 Spooky Brew Review Homebrew Competition

October 31, 2009
9:00 amto5:00 pm

Hard to believe, but our wacky annual Spooky Brew Review homebrew competition is celebrating its 18th consecutive year!

Emmett's LogoOur host this year will Emmett’s Ale House at 110 North Brockway Street in Palatine, IL (conveniently located virtually adjacent to Metra’s Union Pacific Northwest Line station). As usual, SBR will feature judging in all categories of the BJCP Style Guidelines. But the highlight is always the judging of the special Spooky (scariest) and Smashed Pumpkin (Worst of Show) categories, which definitely should not be missed. For the third year in a row, we’ll also include Witches’ Brew, an open category for beer, mead, and cider brewed only by women.

NOTE: All entries for the Spooky and Smashed Pumpkin categories must be drinkable. Anything deemed otherwise by the Competition Committee will be DISQUALIFIED, and that’s very hard to do.

So, please plan on entering, judging, stewarding, or just attending Spooky Brew Review 2009 — it definitely doesn’t get any crazier than this!

The competition package (including rules & regulations, entry forms, bottle labels, and a style chart) is now available for download here in PDF format.

Judges and Stewards – we need you! If you are interesting in serving as a judge or steward on October 31, please contact competition organizers Joe Preiser (joe @ chibeer.org, 630-759-4569) or Steve Hamburg (stevie @ chibeer.org, 773-878-0177). All general questions can also be directed to the organizers.

Big Brew Day 2009

May 2, 2009
8:00 amto9:00 pm

You are cordially invited to the annual celebration of the American Homebrewers Association‘s Big Brew Day. Homebrewers all across the country will be brewing batches of beer at the same time, including some of us. There are even some standard recipes (which we rarely follow).

Brewers, if you’re planning on coming, contact Randy Mosher (see phone below) so he can save some room.

Of course, the party is mostly non-brewing participants, thank god, as we’d burn down the neighborhood otherwise. It functions as a warped open house event. Doors will be open from 8 am (brewers earlier by special arrangement). As far as food and drink, this is a pitch-in. We usually have a ploughman’s lunch midday, then get the smoker fired up (usually by Joe Preiser, Pitmaster) and eat a hot meat dinner later. We’ll have a grill available as well as the smoker. Don’t show up empty handed. Beer, meat, sides, snacks, and desserts are all welcome. If somebody wants to take charge of Julep fixins, it is Derby Day.

We will have a big pile of firewood for the firepit. You might bring a lawn chair with you if you care what you sit on.

Date & Time: May 2, 2009 8 am-until Roger leaves.

Location: Chez Mosher-Cline, at 1604 W. Lunt Ave, Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Lunt is 7000 north; that’s 4 blocks from the lake, 2 blocks east of Clark, about a 5 minute walk from the Morse Ave Red Line CTA stop. 773-973-0240. Also easily accessible from the Metra UPN North line stop (Rogers Park), just a couple of blocks away.

Spooky Brew Review 2008 Homebrew Competition

October 25, 2008
9:00 amto5:00 pm

The Spooky Brew Review homebrew competition is celebrating its 17th consecutive year.

Our host this year will be the famed Goose Island Clybourn brewpub, in what sadly may be the swan song at this venerable location. As usual, SBR will feature judging in all categories of the BJCP Style Guidelines. But the highlight is always the judging of the special Spooky (scariest) and Smashed Pumpkin (Worst of Show) categories – these should not be missed. For the second year in a row, we’ll also include Witches’ Brew, an open category for beer, mead, and cider brewed only by women.

NOTE: All entries for the Spooky and Smashed Pumpkin categories must be drinkable. Anything deemed unconsumable by the Competition Committee will be DISQUALIFIED.

So, please plan on entering, judging, stewarding, or just attending Spooky Brew Review 2008 — it definitely doesn’t get any crazier than this!

The competition announcement, entry forms, bottle labels, judge registration/waiver forms, and the latest BJCP Style Guidelines are all available in PDF (Portable Document Format).

Entrants, Stewards and Judges: if you have additional questions, contact competition organizers Roger Deschner (roger @ chibeer.org, 773-363-1407) or Brad Reeg (beej @ chibeer.org, 773-384-5888).

Big Brew Day

May 3, 2008
8:00 amto10:00 pm

You are cordially invited to the annual celebration of the American Homebrewers Association‘s Big Brew Day. Homebrewers all across the country will be brewing batches of beer at the same time, including some of us. There are even some standard recipes (which we rarely follow).

Brewers, if you’re planning on coming, contact Randy Mosher so he can save some room.

Of course, the party is mostly non-brewing participants, thank god, as we’d burn down the neighborhood otherwise. It functions as a warped open house event. Doors will be open from 8 am (brewers earlier by special arrangement). As far as food and drink, this is a pitch-in. We usually have a ploughman’s lunch midday, then get the smoker fired up (usually by Joe Preiser, Pitmaster) and eat a hot meat dinner later. We’ll have a grill available as well as the smoker. Don’t show up empty handed. Beer, meat, sides, snacks, and desserts are all welcome.

We will have a big pile of firewood for the firepit. You might bring a lawn chair with you if you care what you sit on.

Date & Time: May 3, 2008 8 am-until Roger leaves.

Location: Chez Mosher-Cline, at 1604 W. Lunt Ave, Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. (Lunt is 7000 north; that’s 4 blocks from the lake, 2 blocks east of Clark, about a 5 minute walk from the Morse Ave Red Line CTA stop.) 773-973-0240.

Spooky Brew Results

Scott Lasky captures Best of Show at the 2007 Spooky Brew Review Homebrew Competition.

Congratulations to Scott Lasky of BABBLE (Lake County, IL) for winning Best of Show at our 16th annual Spooky Brew Review homebrew competition. Scott’s English Barleywine was chosen first out of 187 entries across all beer, mead, and cider categories. CBS’s own George Westlund (American Amber Ale) and Doug Wich (American Stout) took second and third place BOS.

Other CBS winners were Tom Fitzpatrick and Nathan Dent (two ribbons) and Jeff Sparrow. Great going, guys! Rock Bottom Chicago was our gracious host this year. Thanks to the entrants, the judges and stewards, and our many sponsors. But special thanks to our competition organizer for 2007, Roger Deschner.

Well done, Rog. For the complete results, see the Official 2007 Spooky Brew Winners pages.