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2012 winner Russ Smith (right) holds the cup with Jim Macielak of Sierra Nevada Brewing
This year marks the 11th annual Siciliano's Homebrew Competition. Submissions are being received for the competition from March 17 through April 6, or until 250 brews are entered. The Best in Show brewer will have their recipe brewed on New Holland Brewing's seven-barrel pub system, will have their name engraved on the Siciliano Cup, and will claim a $500 gift card to Siciliano's Market. Specific instructions for brew submissions can be found here.
Brews submitted to the competition will be judged by 60 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) approved judges in accordance to BJCP guidlines.
"Two judges in a pair will take the beer and look at it, taste it and the two of them talk about it according to the BJCP guidelines," says Steve Siciliano, owner of Siciliano's Market and founder of the competition.
"Some [judges] come from across the state or Indiana. They look for competitions like this because they get points toward their certification program and keeps them active," says Siciliano. "Not only do we get BJCP judges but we get local brewers and industry professionals to participate."
Siciliano says bringing a homebrewing competition to Grand Rapids seemed like a natural step for the local brew suppliers. The first year of competition served only 20 entries to four judges. This year, Siciliano is limiting the event to 250 brews.
"It started out very, very small," say Siciliano. "Now, people look to our competition on a local level as something to shoot for. If they win the Siciliano’s competition, it’s really a feather in their cap."
The compeition gives homebrewers the opportunity to showcase their work and receive professional feedback, which Siciliano says is critical.
"Homebrewers like to be recognized for their efforts. They like to get feedback," says Siciliano. "Brewers are really proud of their efforts. They want you to try their beers and this is one extension of that."
Soon-to-be GVSU grad, food and beer enthusiast, quilter, cat mom, Netflix fiend, punk rock princess.
Reports on: Local food and breweries
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