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Introducing the 2015 BrewUnited Challenge Homebrew Heroes!

Posted by homebrewdad on 1/21/2016 at 01:54:09 PM

Back in the summer of 2015, the BrewUnited Challenge was nothing more than a pipe dream. My experience to that point with competitions consisted of me entering one local comp; to call me a neophyte would be putting it kindly.

I did at least recognize that I didn't know what I didn't know, and I recruited a core of really good guys (Matthew Chrispen, Matt Del Fiacco, and Aaron Collier) to serve not only as the head judges for each of their respective sites, but also to help plan, to make rules, to give creative feedback, to tell me when I was being a moron. I didn't always agree, but more often than not, I listened to what they had to say; we cast votes on pretty much everything of importance (and, truth be told, more than a few items that probably were not of importance). The only time my vote ever could have counted for extra was in the event of a tied vote... and I don't believe that I ever actually exercised this power.

We kicked a lot of ideas around, but Matt C. came up with a really unique concept - the Homebrew Hero. The idea was of a special award to celebrate those brewers who showed excellence across multiple entries.

We all thought this was a good idea, and eventually settled on a few tenets for the award.

  • To qualify, a brewer's entries all had to be medal worthy - i.e., they must score at least a 30 (the minimum score to be considered for a medal).
  • This would be a "lifetime achievement" type award - once won a single time, it could never be won again.
  • This would be an exclusive club - no more than three such awards would be given out in any given year. If we did not get a single brewer who met the requirements, we would not give out the award at all.
  • The winners would receive special recognition here on the BrewUnited website, as well as special prize packages. Matt mentioned that perhaps a cape would be appropriate.
At first, I chuckled at the cape idea, but it was really well received, so I did some searching and found an Etsy shop that would sew custom BrewUnited superhero capes for us. Little did I realize that the capes took a good idea to an entirely new level; once we announced this prize, the interest level really seemed to shoot through the roof. We had some great prizes for this competition (kegs, winner's choice of a ten or fifteen gallon kettle, to say nothing of the fabulous seven gallon stainless Chronical fermentor... and way, way more), but I easily received more queries about the cape than about all other prizes combined.

When all was said and done, we had exactly three qualifiers for the award in the 2015 BrewUnited Challenge. They received the very first prize packages; gold medals, hops from Label Peelers, prizes from GigaYeast, a hat from the AHA... and that all important cape.

Anyway, it has taken me far too long, but the permanent Hall of Homebrew Heroes is finally ready for the public (that link takes you to the complete listings). In the meantime, please allow me to introduce our inaugural class of BrewUnited Homebrew Heroes! Please click on their images to view more information about them (and to view more excellent superheor pictures).

Gregory Ellis (vinpaysdoc)

Cory Meyer (corbinaack)

Justin Dufault (mr_samsonite)

Congratulations, heroes!

Tags for this post: homebrew, hero, BrewUnited, challenge, brewer

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