Spooky Brew Review 2008 Homebrew Competition

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

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.