For so many craft breweries in the UK and beyond, homebrewing is where it all began. The Northern Monk Homebrew Club seeks to celebrate the best of homebrewing, highlighting how incredible beer born of a humble setup can be. It’s one of the ways that we aim to support the beer community that we value so much.
Today, we launch the fourth annual Northern Monk Homebrew Competition and this year the focus is fruit. We’re inviting homebrewers up and down the country to submit fruited beers in any clean style (IPA, Sour, Pale, Gose, take your pick) with an ABV anywhere between 0.5% and 7.0%. We’ll accept kettle sours and any other form of hot-side inoculation but brett or lacto-fermented or conditioned beers will not be considered for upscaling as we can’t use wild yeasts at our production brewery. The winning beer will be brewed on a commercial scale, becoming the fourth beer in our Homebrew Heroes Patrons Project series, and it will pour at our annual festival Dark & Wild City!
Whilst what’s on the inside definitely counts, it’s no secret that we’re passionate about great can artwork and using beer as a canvas for creatives. Like last year, we’re running the Homebrew Heroes artwork competition in tandem with the homebrewer applications. As we do with the beer submissions, the artwork entries also have a theme, and this year’s theme is “Squeeze The Day”, you can interpret this in whichever way you’d like!
The first beer to win our Homebrew Club Competition back in 2019 was brewed by Alex Beecroft. Lights Out was a hard-hitting 16.6% Imperial Stout with a seven-malt grist, that was aged on ex-Appleton Estate rum barrel chunks that were soaked in Bulleit Rye Bourbon. Neil Carter designed the label, with artwork that illustrated the different elements of the recipe.
2020’s winner was Chris Morley, who blew us away with his intricate, modern take on an English Red IPA, brewed with British hops. We invited Chris to the brewery, and together we brewed his Red IPA at the Old Flax Store. Complemented by the artwork of Susmita Sett, our winning artist, the second instalment of our Homebrew Heroes Patrons Project was born: Shepherd’s Warning.
Last year’s winner was Sam Thakker-Jones, who created “Within and Without”, an 8% Raspberry and Hibiscus DIPA, brewed with Citra and Idaho 7 hops, and raspberries, hibiscus, cinnamon and vanilla, leading to a beautiful aromatic profile and perfectly balanced IPA. The artwork was designed by Mitchell Perry, a digital artist from Leeds, who started drawing again during lockdown and created this amazing artwork reflecting our time spent at home during this period.
If you’d like to enter this year’s competition, we require a minimum of 2 (but no more than 4) bottles of your beer, with the size of each to be at least 330ml. Each bottle will need to be clearly labelled with your contact details, style, ABV, and adjuncts. The submission window will be open between 27th June and 8th July 2022. We’re aware that physically submitting your beer may bring some challenges, so we’ve put together two different ways in which you can submit your bottles:
- Post your bottles to us at Brian Dickson, Northern Monk, Unit 7, Sydenham Road, Leeds, LS11 9RU. There are a number of parcel companies offering home collection, including Royal Mail, Parcelforce, Evri (former Hermes) and DPD.
- Drop your bottles at the brewery. If you’d like to submit this way, email us at the homebrew email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll give you a designated day/time to drop your bottles at our brewery reception desk.
Alongside the physical bottles, please also submit an in-depth brew schedule including full details of ingredients used and quantities, along with all other processes involved to email@example.com. It’d also be great to get some photos of you brewing your beer!
The beers will be judged by a panel of the Northern Monk team, which will include a mix of professional brewers and qualified tasters.
If you’re a grassroots artist and would like to see your work celebrated on a can, send your art submissions over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will reveal the winner at a physical Homebrew Club meet (providing regulations allow), with an option to stream it for those who can’t make it to Leeds, more details to be announced nearer the time. If you’d be interested in attending the Homebrew Club, please fill out the email sign up form at the bottom of this post to ensure that you receive full details. Anybody is welcome to join the Homebrew Club meets.
Please note, the brewing and artwork competitions are open to UK entrants only.
If you have any question, feel free to email us at email@example.com.