The Great Northern Brewers Club

by Ira Edwards

Well Jason Ditsworth won this competition again for 2007, but both myself and Steve Jayich were right in there until the Big Fish competition when Jason scored big and it looks like Steve and I forgot to enter a couple of contests during the year.  It looks like you have to score in every contest, so that means we all need to get brewing for 2008...

This year, we are going to do things a little different to make things easier both for myself (I volunteered to keep track of the points) and for all of you who enter the contest.  There will still be 5 contests that we count towards Brewer of the Year (BOTY) status: Fur Rondy, Snow Goose Breakup, Nationals (both first and second round will be counted), the new and soon to be announced Fall competition that replaces the Alaska State Fair, and finally, the Humpy's Big Fish.  Instead of 6 categories per contest where you had to choose 4 entries to be scored for BOTY points, we are reducing the choices to 4 categories per contest (with a possible exception or two, depending on the competition organizer).  I will then just take your highest scoring entry in each of the 4 categories and add that to your points tally.  Less paperwork for me and fewer choices for you to make.  Now you are still free to enter in all the other styles open in each competition, and I encourage you to do so if you like to brew other styles.  These are just the styles we have chosen for this year.  If you brew with someone and put their name on the entry form for that competition, I will award equal point to each brewer, with a limit of 3 brewers earning points on a given entry.

There will be a separate notation on the points list for a brewer who has not won a prize in a GNBC or NHC contest in any previous year.  The Category will be called “New Entrant”, since some people may have been brewing for years, been members of GNBC for years, or maybe just figured out which category to enter their beers in.  It will also include folks who are completely new to brewing.  We really want to encourage people to improve their brewing skills and not have to compete against those who have won medals in every contest for years.  Look at Steve Jayich (Sorry Steve...).  He just started entering contests in GNBC a couple of years ago and probably would have won this year if he had not forgotten about the Rondy Competition...

The Club has been pretty negligent in recognizing the Brewer of the Year, and also the best New Entrant of the year. But we are going to start something nice this year to make it a goal worthy of entering you finest beverages.

For 2009, we will announce the styles in the fall, to make sure there is time to brew. 

Here are the style categories for the 2008 GNBC Home Brew Competitions. Happy Brewing and good luck.

Fur Rondezvous Home Brew Competition

Category - Name
9 - Scottish and Irish Ale
12 - Porter
14 - India Pale Ale
19 - Strong Ale

Snow Goose Breakup Home Brew Completion

Category - Name
6 - Light Hybrid Beer
7 - Amber Hybrid Beer
8 - English Pale Ale
11 - English Brown Ale

2008 National Home Brew Completion

All styles are open and points are scored on any ribbon earned in the first round or medal in the second round.  Enter them all, and good luck!

Fall Harvest (name TBA) Home Brew Competition

5 - Bock
10 - American Ale
13 - Stout
15 - German Wheat & Rye Beer
*4c - Dark Lager (special challenge for Schwartzbier only)

Humpy's Big Fish Home Brew Competition

Category - Name
1 - Light Lager
3 - European Amber Lager
18 - Belgian Strong Ale
24-28 - All Meads and Ciders grouped as ONE category for BOTY points
*???3.2% - 2008 side challenge (you gotta make the best tasting low alcohol beer, and it is harder than you might think...)

Hops Wreath