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  1. Thumbs up Fifth Annual Midwinter Home Brew Competition

    Hello fellow Home Brewers!

    The Beer Barons of Milwaukee are very pleased to announce the fifth annual Midwinter Home Brew Competition will be taking place on February 21st and 22nd, 2014. This competition is held in conjunction with the 17th annual Midwinter Brew Fest at the Milwaukee Ale House, and is a circuit qualifying event for both the Master Championship of Amateur Brewers (MCAB) and the Midwest Home Brewer of the Year. The competition will be limited to 800 entries. All entries to be judged by at least 2 BJCP Judges, Professional Brewers, or Mead Judges.

    Participant, judging, and steward registration for the competition will be coordinated through the web site at Entries will be accepted January 4th through February 8th at 11 different locations in WI, IL, & MN. Shipped entries should be sent to Northern Brewer in West Allis, WI. Please refer to the web site for drop off location cut off dates and addresses.

    1st, 2nd, & 3rd place awards will be issued for each category. Each award will consist of a medal and a gift certificate to Brew & Grow (Gold - $25, Silver - $15, Bronze - $10). Beer Best of Show, Beer Best of Show Runner-Up, and Mead / Cider Best of Show will receive engraved barrel head awards.

    This year we are very happy to have two professional ramp ups affiliated with the competition. One of the Baltic Porter entries (BJCP category 12C) will be chosen to be ramped up by the Milwaukee Brewing Company for serving at the Milwaukee Ale House. Also one Mead entry (BJCP categories 25 A-C, 26A, & 26C) will be ramped up by Moonlight Meadery as a pilot batch.

    The awards ceremony will again take place at Revere’s Wells Street Tavern on February 22nd at 6:30 PM central time. Gordon Strong is scheduled to present Brewing Better Beer: Practical Applications prior to the awards announcement. Both the presentation and the awards ceremony are open to the public. Results will be posted to the competition website shortly after the conclusion of the awards ceremony.

    Additional details can be found on the competition web site, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. Information regarding judging and stewarding opportunities can be found on the Volunteers page at Please pass this information on to your fellow home brewing friends and direct any inquiries to the Contact page on the registration page at

    Thanks and best of luck to all that enter!
    Bruce Buerger - Competition Coordinator
    Prosit, Sláinte, Salute, Na Zdravi, Cheers! - Bruce Buerger
    Coordinator - German Fest & Midwinter Homebrew Competitions
    Beer Barons of Milwaukee - &

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    near a lake


    Bless you.
    Thanks for letting us know.
    Who else here is from SouthEastern WI?
    Making Mead With TLC since 2010

  3. #3


    Waukesha here. Been brewing since September so I won't have any entries. Nice to see some action around here though!

  4. #4


    Great Compitition. And the Barons meetings are a great place to meet other mead makers.

    Good Luck to all who enter!
    - Jeff

  5. Default

    Registration is now open!

    I should note that all mead entries will be judged by at least 2 BJCP Mead judges.
    Last edited by buergermeister; 01-06-2014 at 02:07 AM.
    Prosit, Sláinte, Salute, Na Zdravi, Cheers! - Bruce Buerger
    Coordinator - German Fest & Midwinter Homebrew Competitions
    Beer Barons of Milwaukee - &

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Chicago, Land of Corruption


    I received my score sheets. No winners, but I'm happy with the results.

    Category # 26C - Cherry Cyser - Score: 33.5
    So this was actually my favorite of what I entered. I tweaked a recipe that won 2nd place at the Mazer Cup a few years ago. I changed yeast to K1V to try and feature the apple flavors more. I think I succeeded, but you can only do so much with Motts apple juice. The cherry flavor wasn't as strong as the previous batch, but I felt it was more in balance with the apple. I think the previous batch was a better mead, but this might be a better cyser. My biggest knock against it would be the slight sulphur nose after the bottle is immediately opened, but it may have been able to breath because of it's position in the flight because there was no mention of this..

    Category # 25C - Strawberry Mead - Score: 39.5
    My first batch of mead was strawberry, so I think this might be the recipe I've repeated the most. All previous versions were much sweeter. This one finished bone dry and I chose not to back sweeten it. And then the FG dropped a little more, so I entered it as petillant. My wife prefers the dry version. I think the sweeter one is too sweet and this one was too dry, but the aroma is incredible and decided to send it in at the last minute. The judges notes suggest making it sweeter, so I guess I was right.

    Category #24A - Traditional Mead with Linden/Basswood Honey - Score 42.5
    On a whim, I bought 12lbs of Linden honey from a beekeeper in Elgin. He didn't like the flavor and was looking to get rid of the last couple gallons before his next honey harvest. The price was too good to pass up. Special thanks to TheAlchemist, for picking up my honey and acting as my honey broker . I never had linden honey and it was some strange stuff. It was very pale, super sticky and had a minty flavor. I decided to go traditional and feature the honey (maybe adding some spices later). I added too much water, so it ended up as a 4 gallon batch and had to be dry because I had nothing left to back sweeten. It is far from being a favorite of mine. I'm not a huge fan of traditional meads and it wasn't a very complex honey to feature, but it might be one of my best made meads.

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