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Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition

Some companies use cheesy videos with horrible actors to train their employees. The military uses combat scenarios. Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, Inc. throws homebrewing competitions.

Last Thursday, the ever-faithful associates of Gold Coast Distributors assembled at America's Backyard for the fourth year to hold a private homebrewing competition against each other all while learning  the ins and outs of craft brewing.

See Also:

- The Craft Beer Craze Finally Finds Florida

- Big Bear Brewing Wins Best IPA At U.S. Beer Tasting Championships

- Funky Buddha Lounge Expands Brewery to Oakland Park

 

Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition

Twenty-six teams comprised the competition. They were made up of Gold Coast employees, client representatives, and this year for the first time, bar and restaurant operator/owners. Like any other homebrewing competition, guests and team members commingled, sampled beers and ate one another's food. The winner received an all-expenses-paid four-day trip to the Great American Beer Festival held from October 11-13 in Denver. Team Total Eclipse, which brewed a dark IPA, won the competition.
Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition


 

All of the teams at the event were finalists. They were tasked to brew beer, bottle it, design a label for it, build a beer stand, and pair food with their brew. Other than the grand prize for best beer, there were competitions for best label and best stand. The labels weren't required to be on the bottles, but still had to be submitted for judging. The level of creativity and originality that went into designing the labels and stands, not to mention the brewing process, compares to that of a commercial microbrewery.
Team Pineapple Express, best label winner.
Team Pineapple Express, best label winner.
Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition


 

Most contestants had prior experience in brewing beer, but some did not. The beer styles ranged from black IPAs to barrel-aged imperial stouts to English ales. Some home brew was professional-grade; others would make a better cooking ingredient, but all were drinkable (to some extent). Team were allowed to dress according to their beer style. For example, members from team Finer Miner Golden Ale all dressed as miners with brown overalls and yellow hard hats. Team Coco Mole dressed as Mexicans with sombreros.
Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition
Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition



 

Food pairings were an essential part of the contest. The food was all bite-sized and ranged from chocolate-covered bacon to fine meats and cheeses to fresh pineapple, pears and farmhouse cheese.
Gold Coast General Sales Manager Alex Pinilla, left and CEO Frank Schwiep, right.
Gold Coast General Sales Manager Alex Pinilla, left and CEO Frank Schwiep, right.
Team Coco Mole
Team Coco Mole


 

The contest was judged via a blind taste test conducted by a panel of four judges. Each

team received a chance to place a vote for fellow teams, but the votes

that counted came from the judges. Although it was an internal event,

the level of competition was high and the judging was carried out with

just as much honesty and integrity as a public event.

The Three Coco Mole Amigos, or the Salamancha cousins?
The Three Coco Mole Amigos, or the Salamancha cousins?
Team Total Eclipse, home brew competition winner.
Team Total Eclipse, home brew competition winner.


 

"The ultimate goal is for them to understand how difficult of a process

it is to brew a good beer and what goes into it," says Darren Dougherty,

the craft and import special sales manager for Gold Coast Distributors.

"The most important thing to us is learning, learning, learning.

Blue bottles are rare for beer.
Blue bottles are rare for beer.
Da Peche Mode, made with six pounds of peaches.
Da Peche Mode, made with six pounds of peaches.


 

The Doral-based beer distribution company is the largest beer distributor in the state of Florida, according to Gold Coast's website. There are four other beer distributors in South Florida, but Gold Coast

holds roughly 60 percent of the market share, says Dougherty. The company began in 1946 as a

Coors-Pabst distributor and even though the majority of the product

they distribute is brewed by MillerCoors, owners are wise to the

fact that craft beer is a profitable venture.

Team Smokin' Hog with chocolate-covered bacon
Team Smokin' Hog with chocolate-covered bacon
Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition

 

Gold Coast now distributes craft beer in South Florida. Just recently Schnebly Miami Brewing Company signed up to have Gold Coast distribute their tropical fruit-inspired craft beers.
Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition
Deddy Hernandez and Gus Herrera
Deddy Hernandez and Gus Herrera


 

The mastermind behind the event was the Boston Beer Company, a Golden

Coast partner that is the brewer of Sam Adams Boston lager and responsible for gifting the winning team's trip to the GABF.

Hosted by the Brewer's Association, an American trade group consisting of over 1900 members, the three-day festival is the ultimate beer exposition in the United States. The first festival was held in 1982 and had 222 brewers. In 2009, that number swelled to 457 and is now

considered one of the most popular ticketed beer festivals in the United States. Over 50,000 people attend each year.

Team Finer Miner
Team Finer Miner
Team Red-Headed Step Child
Team Red-Headed Step Child


 

At the end of the day the competition was all in good fun. But the takeaway was craft beer.  Is craft beer still gaining ground? Even though official numbers may point to only it holding a small share of the greater market for beer, slow and steady wins the race; trends shall pass, but lifestyles are here to stay.
Inside Gold Coast Distributors' Private Homebrew Competition
The Gold Coast Homebrew shrine.
The Gold Coast Homebrew shrine.





Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
America's Backyard

100 SW Third Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

954-449-1025

www.myamericasbackyard.com

miles
Schnebly Redland's Winery

30205 SW 217th Ave.
Homestead, FL 33030

305-242-1224

schneblywinery2.ning.com


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