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Announcing the Divisional Round Winners of the 2016 BrewUnited Challenge!

Posted by homebrewdad on 10/28/2016 at 03:01:31 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally arrived! Earlier this evening, judging was finally completed in the American Beers Division, which wraps all judging for the first round of the 2016 BrewUnited Challenge. The simple issue was that judging is done entirely by volunteers, and we had quite a few no shows in Fresno (Continental Beers)... and far more in Chicago (American Beers). Sadly, there isn't a lot you can do to force people to volunteer their time to judge, so we simply had to do the best we could. We did learn a few tough lessons this year, and we will keep those in mind for 2017.

Before we get to the scores, please allow me to publicly thank the gentlemen who really made this competiton happen. These are our Site Directors. They are:
  • Matthew Chrispen, Commonwealth Beers (Austin, TX)
  • Aaron Collier, Continental Beers (Fresno, CA)
  • Mark Price, American Beers (Chicago, IL)
  • Matt Mella, SMaSH Beers (Washington, D.C.)
Seriously, if you meet one of these guys, buy them a beer.

It goes without saying, that the other key item that makes this such a great competition is the amazing contributions from our sponsors. All told, our sponsors donated right at eight thousand dollars worth of prizes this year. When you shop for homebrewing gear and supplies, please do your best to help support our sponsors!

Now, then. Let's get to it. The Divisional round winners for the 2016 BrewUnited Challenge are as follows.

American Division

1B. American Lager - 13 entries
1st: Tim Daniel, "Billy Bob"
2nd: Joel Saunders, "Last Gasp of Summer"
3rd: Matt Del Fiacco, "Roam the Neighborhood"

1C. Cream Ale - 29 entries
1st: Derek Springer, "Good for Your Soul"
2nd: Matthew Haulk, "Hubris' Resolve"
3rd: John Lopez, "Crop Duster Cream Ale"

19A. American Amber Ale - 19 entries
1st: Matthew Whited, "Amber? I Barley Know Her!"
2nd: Aaron Curtis,"BrewUnited American Amber"
3rd: Michael Koncel, "2016 BU Amber 2"

20B. American Stout - 19 entries
1st: A. Jason Flair, "Roundabout Stout"
2nd: Joe Dunne, "American Stout"
3rd: Craig Pettigrew, "Cocoa Puffs"

21A. American IPA - 58 entries
1st: Justin Dufault, "21A"
2nd: William Overko, "Mill Point"
3rd: Andy Covert, "Stratton Major IPA"

27. Kentucky Common - 18 entries
1st: George Turner, "The Goatsman Kentucky Common"
2nd: Duane Wilson, "Kentucky Common"
3rd: Collin Hunt, "Kentucky Fried Common"

Commonwealth Division

11A. Ordinary Bitter - 22 entries
1st: Rick Ash, "Kickin' Biscuits"
2nd: John Lopez, "Ol' Bitty"
3rd: Joseph Cassell, "Pub Rat Bitter"
3rd: James Ferrier, "Ordinarily Bitter"

12C. English IPA - 15 entries
1st: Greg Hinton, "BrewxitLicious English IPA"
2nd: Justin Dufault, "12C"
3rd: Matthew Tieslau, "BU English IPA"

13A. Dark Mild - 18 entries
1st: Omar Al-Nidawi, "Mild Concussion"
2nd: Jonathan Levy, "Kele Okereke Ale"

15A. Irish Red Ale - 13 entries
1st: Matt Medeiros, "McGoose's Ale"
2nd: Morris Nuspl, "Mo's Irish Red"
3rd: Michael Rothlisberger, "Irishish"

16B. Oatmeal Stout - 25 entries
1st: Ryan Zoromski, "BU Oatmeal Stout"
2nd: Jay Thomas, "Motorhead"
3rd: David Eric Dringenberg, "Nonam'e"

27. London Brown Ale - 11 beers
1st: Robert Helminiak, "Brow London Laddie"
2nd: Georgia Flair, "Wimbeldon Brown"
3rd: Robb Burden, "London Brown Ale"

Continental Division

4B. Festbier - 16 entries
1st: Rob Vermillion, "Stonehands Festbier"
2nd: Justin Dufault, "4B"
3rd: Trevor Fisher, "Trevor's BrewFest"

7A. Vienna Lager - 23 entries
1st: Rob Vermillion, "Stonehands Vienna"
2nd: Jeff Pare, "Vienna Lager 1"
3rd: Gregory C. Ellis, "Narsil"

10A. Weissbier - 18 beers
1st: Louis Thiery, "Hefeweizen Take Two"
2nd: Jonathan Lemig, "Uterweizen"
3rd: Jake Huolihan, "BU Weissbier"

25B. Saison - 35 beers
1st: Thomas Crawford, "French Maid"
2nd: Jonathan Lemig, "Ouvrez la Bouche Saison"
3rd: Jake Huolihan, "BU Saison"

26B. Belgian Dubbel - 18 beers
1st: Ryan Kelly, "Wife Doesn't Think I'm Creative"
2nd: Brett Walker, "Dubble"
3rd: Collin Hunt, "Drinks Out for Harambe"

27. Roggenbier - 9 beers
1st: Jimmy Theis, "Regensberg Special"
2nd: Jay Thomas, "Breakdown"
3rd: Michael Bedrosian, "Ragnar's Roggenbier (aka RagnarRogg)"

SMaSH Category

1st: Matthew Whited, "Beer, James Beer" (American Pale Ale)
2nd: Gregory C. Ellis, "Merckx" (Belgian Pale Ale)
3rd: Chalmers C. Congdon, "Avalanche" (American Pale Ale)

As with last year, the above winners will receive a custom gold, silver, or bronze medal (as appropriate), with their name, position, and style category engraved on the back. Gold medal winners will also receive a tee shirt. Finally, the vast majority of our "random draw" prizes will go to brewers in the above list.

Of course, if you are still reading, you surely want to know who the overall Division winners are. Without futher adieu, here they are:

Division Winners

American Beers Division
1st: Derek Springer - 1C
2nd: A. Jason Flair - 20B
3rd: Tim Daniel - 1B

Commonwealth Beers Division
1st: Robert Helminiak - 27
2nd: Matt Medeiros - 15A
3rd: Ryan Zoromski - 16B

Continental Beers Division
1st: Louis Thiery - 10A
2nd: Ryan Kelly - 26B
3rd: Thomas Crawford - 25B

The three Divisional first place winners will now ship a final bottle of their beer to Birmingham, Alabama. The delay in judging means that we will not be able to judge prior to November 4th, depending on the shipping of the beer. Do remember that SMaSH is a "for fun" category, without the same sorts of restrictions that the rest of the Divisions faced; therefore, SMaSH beers are ineligible to advance to the overall Best of Show. 

Now then.  While I have all of the winners at hand, I do not yet have all of the scores. Once those are entered and audited, we will know for sure how many Homebrew Heroes we will have this year. As of this posting, one brewer had qualified, while six more were in the running (pending their final scores in the American Division). Also, it bears mentioning that one of last year's Heroes, one Gregory Ellis (you'll note his name by two medals in the above list) would have qualified for the second year in a row if Homebrew Hero was not limited to one win per person. All four of Greg's beers were medal worthy this year (i.e. scoring at least 30), meaning that Greg is now an amazing seven for seven in entering medal worthy beers to our competitons!

We hope to have all scores entered tomorrow, at which point we will make them available for viewing in your admin area. However, it will be several more days before we have all of the scoresheets avaialble for download (we have to ship them from Chicago to Birmingham, scan them in, then associate them with the relevant entries).

Thank you all for your amazing participation! All told, we grew more than forty percent from 2015; we plan to return in 2017, even bigger and better, and continue the pursuit of making the BrewUnited Challenge into an absolute "can't miss" event.

Tags for this post: beer, competition, brewing, challenge, winner, winners, prizes, BU

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