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Sean White
11/29/07 10:45 AM  
Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Hi Guys and Gals,

I just wanted to invite you all to participate in the NYC Homebrewers Guild "Homebrew Alley 2" competition, which will be held on Sunday, February 10th, 2008. This is a BJCP sanctioned event.

For info go to: hbd.org/nych

Please help us to make the competition a successful one by entering as many beers as you can! For those of you who are in the area, we will also need judges and stewards. We should have online entry set up so that judges and stewards can bring their entries the day of the comp.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd BOS will receive substantial gift certificates to a homebrew shop to be announced. There will also be a "Brewer's Choice" award, chosen by Chris Sheehan of the Chelsea Brewing Company (although I must warn you that he will probably choose a beer brewed with American Ale yeast!)

Anyway, thanks for your support and I hope to see some really good beers there from you all.

Sean White,

HA2 competition coordinator

11/29/07 01:48 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Sean -

Hooray! Sounds like a fun competition. However, I think your link is missing a letter. Should be:


(already rummaging around in the "beer cellar" for candidates. And by "beer cellar" I actually mean every nook and cranny of my Hell's Kitchen apartment where homebrew is stashed . . . )

11/29/07 02:02 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Cool Sean

How do we enter?

Sean White
11/29/07 03:00 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Thanks for your interest! You are right, it's:hbd.org/nychg/

We will update the webpage with entry information soon. We are still nailing down drop-off locations and trying to set up online entry. Keep checking back for details.

I am probably handicapping myself here by asking a lot of good Belgian-style brewers to enter this comp, as I too will be entering a lot of beers in those categories. But hey, the more the marrier!

11/29/07 04:32 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Can we enter corked bottles? Or 750's?
11/29/07 04:36 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
I might be able to drum something up.
Sean White
11/29/07 04:41 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
I think last year we did not accept corked bottles unless they had a cap. I will have to look into what size bottles we will accept and get back to ya.

Sean White
12/12/07 08:55 AM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Good news! We have our Grand prizes sorted out for HA2.

We will be awarding gift certificates to Maltose Express homebrew store in Monroe, Connecticut (which also does mail-order).

Grand Prize - Best of Show: $100 Gift certificate

2nd place -

Sean White
12/12/07 08:57 AM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Err...sorry: Here ya go:

2nd place - $75

3rd place - $50

We will be updating our webpage regularly with competiton info: hbd.org/nychg


Brian Richards
12/13/07 01:40 AM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
I was just on the website earlier today and I recognized your name from this site. I have a few beers beers to send out there. If there is a good showing of beers from the folks on here, being a judge would be a treat!
Sean White
01/09/08 12:20 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Good news, our website for the competition is finalized and we are set up to do online entry: hbd.org/nychg/

Judges can also register online. Judges and stewards from out of town may bring in entries the day of the competition as long as they arrive before 9:00 am.

Hope to see you and your beers there!


01/13/08 10:48 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Hi Folks -

I don't have a lot of experience with the BJCP guidelines, and am considering submitting a beer for this. It is a Dupont Bons Voeux-inspired recipe with an OG of 1.096. I looks to me like the best category for such an animal would be 16E (Belgian Specialty Ale) since the Saison cut-off is 1.080. Any thoughts if this is the best way to go?

Sean White
01/16/08 04:10 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
I think you are right with this one. Although I heard Jamil say there may in the future be a "strong saison" category, there is none so far.

16 E. "The judges must understand the brewer's intent in order to properly judge an entry in this category. THE BREWER MUST SPECIFY EITHER THE BEER BEING CLONED, THE NEW STYLE BEING PRODUCED OR THE SPECIAL INGREDIENTS OR PROCESSES USED."

So unless you think your brew tastes a lot like a tripel or a golden strong, then Belgian Specialty is the way to go.


01/16/08 07:57 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
As far as I know, the style guidelines are going to change for Saison and others too. To the best of my knowledge, and this is not official, just a rumour, Saisons are going to be divided into three groups, table, export and strong...or something named along those lines. The main differences are original gravities and ABV%, with table versions coming in at about 5%ABV, export versions around 6.5% and strong versions at 6.5 - 9.5%. Stronger versions and dark copper, black, brown etc, beers should be entered in the Belgian Specialty cat.

As I said, this is what I've heard and nothing that I know of is official yet.

01/20/08 11:37 AM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Thanks for the feedback! Belgian Specialty seems like the way to go for now. I will keep my eyes open for possible future category changes too.

I don't know too much detail about the BJCP categories, but find this Saison issue quite interesting - on the one hand it is a glimpse into how a system like this evolves over time in reaction to many factors (the brewing public's growing understanding of a style, what is popular and being actively brewed / explored, etc.) and that's neat to see.

On the other, it points up the limitations inherent in any method of classification, especially when you try to pin down a concept like 'Saison'. Applying ABV bands is, I think, generally recognized to be fairly effective in sorting things out. But this style has such wildly varying other parameters (color, wacky grains, spices) that can be thrown into the mix.

I bet it is making for some interesting debate, though.

01/20/08 04:04 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
You're right about the debates for sure! I'm not the Style Police but I'm glad the very dark colored so-called "Saisons" must be entered in the specialty category.

I admit that I have a traditional view regarding these brews so I guess that's why I'm not sure what there is so much confusion. For example, it seems that when Saison is mentioned, brewers automatically think spices and crazy grains. If you look at the surviving examples that have helped define the style as we know it today (Dupont, Blaugies, Pipaix, Voisin) there is really not much of anything crazy going on except for the very high levels of attenuation. Pipaix is the darkest and sourest while the Blaugies and Dupont are the palest and hoppiest. The malts in these beers consist of Pils or Pale, Amber, Munich, Caramel, Spelt and possibly Vienna. The only beer in the group that is spiced is the Pipaix.

There are a lot of varying opinions about this Belgian ale but I think most would agree the Dupont and Blaugies brews represent the archetype and neither one of these beers use spices or dark malts.

In addition, the organic brew from Dupont called Foret is absolutely fantastic and in my opinion :), is THE Saison to judge against.

I think the more we brewers learn about these amazing beers, we can insure and keep the saison tradition intact. So, I'm very happy to see more brewers explore this genre of brews and extremely happy to see the yeast companies further exploring the farmhouse yeasts as well.

Sean White
01/29/08 10:42 AM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
I agree that as I have brewed more and more saisons, I have gone from too high spicing, to moderate or low spicing, to finally no spicing at all.

So far my best achievements have been with no spices. I really hope that the American craft brewers will someday learn this and quit it with the overspiced strong belgian ales they call saisons. I'm not trying to sound bitter...some brewers get it right but you don't NEED all those spicy things to get an interesting, complex and balanced saison. They usually just muddle things up.

01/29/08 10:51 AM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Man I feel like I havn't been here in a year. 2 boxes went out to the contest yesterday Sean, each containing one entry.
Sean White
01/29/08 03:18 PM  
Re: Homebrew Alley 2 competition
Thanks Steve! Looking forward to it...
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