Do you brew your own beer? Do you drink your own beer? And do you make your friends drink your homebrew too? If you've ever wondered what someone other than your best beer buddy would think about your craft creations, a Broward County homebrew supply store might off you the opportunity you've been looking for.
Next month, Fort Lauderdale's Craft Beer Cartel is hosting a homebrewing event for newbie beer crafters with its first Virgin Home Brew competition.
Known as the Virgin Home Brew competition, the special event will give budding home brewers a platform to share their brews with both seasoned professionals and craft beer fans. The competition is being referred to as the "virgin" competition because it will feature only brewers who are competing for the first time, says Craft Beer Cartel cofounder Adam Fine.
"As a homebrewing beginner, you try your beers out yourself and on your friends," says Fine. "Sometimes, your first beers are very good and sometimes not so much, but there is pride in producing them, and you are often drinking them just because you made it. Your friends are too."
To help you decide if you're brewing a quality beer or not (and possibly putting your friends through undue misery), the competition will offer the perfect opportunity to get some valuable opinions and guidance. The Craft Beer Cartel has put together a panel of judges including locally awarded home-brewers -- who will judge the first-time competitors and provide detailed feedback about what they're doing right -- or wrong.
The competition will work off the honor system: All participants are expected to be honest about their brewing experience and history before entering. To be part of the competition, homebrewers must visit Squareup.com and pay a $20 entry fee to hold their spot. With one entry, they are permitted to enter up to two types of beer. There is no limit to the number of entrants.
Spectators are also invited to join in on the fun. A $5 ticket to the event will get you samples of each of the new homebrews. You can purchase them the day of the event.
"It may sound scary, but it can be very helpful, and the feedback can lead to improvements in your brewing and ultimately in your beers," says Fine.
The competition will kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Craft Beer Cartel, located at 557 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Visit facbook.com/craftbeercartel.com.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.
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