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.


Joe Preiser and Steve Hamburg, Organizers