James McCarthy, left, and Andrew Darling with their brewing apparatus, get ready for the Oxtoberfest home brewing competition.
Andrew Darling, James McCarthy and Matt Anderson have been brewing beers at home for eight years and are hoping to be recognised for their craft beverages.
The Timaru trio, who aim to brew at least 10 different beers every year, have submitted three types of beers for judging at The Oxford restaurant’s Oxtoberfest 2021 South Canterbury Home Brew Competition on Saturday.
The men have been entering the competition since its inception in 2018, this time putting up their two India Pale Ale beers and a porter for judging.
“We enjoy brewing and put our brews in the competition just to see how they stack up against other people’s brewing and also get feedback,’’ Darling said.
“We have had brews in the last couple of years that have done well in this South Canterbury competition.”
He also urged beer enthusiasts to have a go at brewing varieties of beer as there was a lot of information available online with minimum gear required.
This year’s competition has attracted 31 entries, with winners to be announced at The Oxford on Saturday night.
The Oxford co-owner Clarissa Doran said there had been a few names among the entrants this year. .
“This year we have had quite a few new entries along with some entrants who have taken part in all the three events,” Doran said.
“Every year we try to keep the same four judges for keeping the competition consistent.”
Those judges are DB’s Zane Marshall, Ship Hop’s Hadley Rich, The Oxford’s Michael Doran, and Felicity Bruce.
“Zane Marshall is a master brewer and is the official judge for the New Zealand Brewer’s Guild Awards, and we are lucky to have him.
“Our chef Michael Doran is the professional palette, who will pick up flavour profiles that a chef would be able to appreciate, while Felicity Bruce is the customer palette.”
Doran said craft beer and home brewing had become a big industry since the beginning of Covid-19.
“Craft beer has become really popular not just in Timaru, but around New Zealand,” she said
“It is just good to get beer enthusiasts together to try beer and there is a huge home brewing market now.’’
He said customers had come in to drink the restaurant’s craft beer and would say they were making their own at home.
“The idea rose up about ‘why don’t we get some judges?’ with the judging here equivalent to national level.
“So it is quite interesting for them to see how well they are doing at home brewing compared to professional brewers.”
Another regular Timaru home brewer Joe McKenzie, is excited about the competition, with his four brew entries.
“I did a smoked lager, stout, Pale Ale and a Belgian Tripel, which I brewed with some local honey.