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Winners announced for Berlin Homebrewing Competition 2016

The full list of winners for 2016 has been announced on the competition homepage: LINK


Berlin Homebrewing Competition Overall Winner for 2016

  • Competition Winner: Dirk Nolte – Hefeweizen


Category 1: Bottom Fermenting

  • Category Winner:
    • No overall category winner for Category 1
  • Runners Up (joint second place):
    • Stefan Wolf – Zwickelbier / Kellerbier
    • Jörg Schlömer – Dunkel
    • Daniel Stobbe – Dunkel


Category 2: Wheat Beer

  • Category Winner:
    • Dirk Nolte – Hefeweizen
  • Runner Up:
    • Ralf Borau – Weizenbock


Category 3: Pale Ale

  • Category Winner:
    • Ralf Borau – American Pale Ale
  • Runner Up:
    • Johannes Funcke – American Pale Ale


Category 4: India Pale Ale

  • Category Winner:
    • Simon Palmqvist – American Imperial IPA
  • Runner Up:
    • Johannes Funcke – American IPA


Category 5: Brown Ale, Porter & Stout

  • Category Winner:
    • Sebastian Mittag – Brown Ale
  • Runner Up:
    • Tilo Schwarzbach – Baltic Porter


Category 6: Special Category for 2016 – Belgian Ales

  • Category Winner:
    • Sam O’Neill – Saison
  • Runner Up:
    • Alexander Sperr – Witbier




Christian and Rory would like to thank all brewers for participating and everyone who helped out this years competition to make it a success, particularly the judges and sponsors.

See you in 2017!

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Berlin Homebrewing Competition 2016 – Announcement of Winners on 2. July

Mark the date: 19:30, 2nd July @ Home World Beer Bar (Neue Bahnhofstraße 23, 10245 Berlin)

All brewers and homebrewers are welcome to attend the announcement of the winners of the Berlin Homebrewing Competition 2016.


19.30: arrival of participants and their guests
20.00: announcement of the winners
20.30: Party Time!

All entrants to the Berlin Homebrewing Competition will also have the chance to collect their Judge feedback sheets on the night.


HOME & Getränkefeinkost Berlin have been so kind to contribute to a fresh keg of a classic beauty: Fuller’s London Pride – there is at least one free pint for all participants!
And, yes, from 21:00 you can watch the football Quarter Final on one of the screens at HOME as well!




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Selecting a Jury for the Berlin Homebrewing Competition 2016



On Saturday, 21.05.2016, several brewers gave up a couple of hours of their Saturday afternoon in order to take part in the Judge Qualification Tests for the Berlin Homebrewing Competition.

For this year, we specifically set the goal of having objective tests, with standardised sensory tests (via FlavorActiv off-flavour kits) as well as technical written test. The bar needs to be raised on judging homebrewing in Germany and the most effective way to do this is in such competitions and setting high requirements for all participants.

Today, I had the unenviable task of reviewing these tests and informing the judge applicants about their abilities and suitability to be on the judging panel. As is always the case with such selection processes, some homebrewers will be disappointed not to be included. The goal of this article is to be public and open on what basis our judges were selected and to stand by our decision.


Summary of the tests

  1. Written Test:
    • Eight broad technical questions were asked about brewing methods and beer judging.
    • Berlin homebrewers were all technically competent, with consistently high marks across all applicants.
  2. Off-Flavour Sensory Test:
    • 4 samples prepared with FlavorActiv off-flavour kits for beer were used: acetaldehyde, DMS, cardboard and Phenolic (4-vinyl-guiacol) notes.
    • This is the test that was the most challenging – with only one participant scoring 3/4.
    • Notes on the objectivity / difficulty of the test:
      • Each of the off-flavours could be detected by at least 1 participant (i.e. none were impossible to detect)
      • DMS and phenolic (4-vinyl-guiacol) were the most easily detectable, as indicated by over half the participants
      • Papery/Wet cardboard (Trans-2-nonenal) was the most difficult to detect.
      • Due to the difficulty of this test, the total passing level was reduced to 60% for the combined score
  3. Sample Judging of Homebrew:
    • Two beer samples were presented: Ordinary Bitter (weak beer with strong oxidation flaws) and an Imperial Stout (with more minor grain bill and acidity flaws)
    • Participants were rated on their ability to notice strong off-flavours and brewing flaws.
    • Correct analysis was rewarded, while false positives and false negatives were both penalised


Congratulations to the five Beer Judges who have been selected for the Berlin Homebrewing Competition 2016!!


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WOLFGANG official release party: Sunday @ Lager Lager


There is a new brewery in Berlin: WOLFGANG

This Sunday, they will be launching their first two beers, “W” a delicious big and juicy IPA that I have had the good fortune to sample already and “L” the new Pale Ale. WOLFGANG are gypsy brewing at Heidenpeter’s, Markthalle 9 at the moment but are establishing an own brewery in Berlin.


When: Sunday, 22.05 @ 13:00

Where: Lager Lager, Pflügerstraße 68, 12047 Berlin, Germany

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/804439353024628/804462213022342/




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Last Chance for Judge Applications for the Berlin Homebrewing Competition 2016

Introduction to the Competition

The Berlin Homebrewing Competition is taking place in 2016 for the second time. Founded in 2015 and based in Berlin/Brandenburg, this annual competition is organised by homebrewers for homebrewers and is the largest of its kind in Germany. As the interest in homebrewing has blossomed in Berlin, the competition is expanding this year. We expect more entrants; we have more categories and we will have an experienced Competition Jury from the community to judge the competition.


Ther Brewing Industry International Awards - Judging, Burton 2011

Beer Judging – More Than A Beauty Contest

Beer judging is a discipline that requires both deep knowledge of brewing as well as sensory abilities to be able to put this knowledge to work. Unlike many other competition forms, beer judging does not just require giving scores to entrants and selecting the ultimate category winners. In fact, this is almost of secondary important in the competition!

Far more important is that each entrant receives fair, honest and expert feedback on the beer that they have entered. All brewers can benefit from the experience of their peers to improve their brewing technique. The technical and sensory feedback recorded during the competition judging is in many ways the most important aspect of the competition itself.

For this reason, it is vital that competition judges are experienced homebrewers themselves, who can detect both how successful the beer is brewed according to style as well as the flaws that may have been introduced during the brewing process.



Requirements for Beer Judges in 2016

For the Berlin Homebrewing Competition 2016, our judges will be selected based on three requirements. These are:

  1. Deep Brewing Experience: Successful applicants will be experienced brewers or homebrewers. Since judges will be assigned to particular competition categories, they must be familiar with all the styles within a category and be able to give each individual brewers constructive, technical feedback on the positive and negative aspects of their brewing abilities. This is only possible with deep brewing experience.
  2. Proven Sensory Abilities: The selection process will involve a sensory test, in order to verify the applicant’s sensory abilities – in particular their ability to detect off-flavours / brewing flaws. Since all judges will be giving technical feedback to all entries, they must be able to prove their objective brewing knowledge in this test.
  3. Positive, collaborative attitude: The competition was founded for the benefit of homebrewers. Unlike many commercial competitions, this competition exists not as an opportunity for (self-)promotion, but in order to encourage brewing as a hobby. Judges must be willing to collaborate in a positive manner and provide constructive feedback for all participants.


Format of Competition Judging Sessions

In 2016, the competition judging sessions will take place on 04.06 & 18.06.2016. For each category in the competition, judges will sit together and review the style descriptions of the category that they are about to judge.

Over several hours, the beers will be judged blindly in rounds of 6-8 beers at a time: unlabelled samples will be brought out to each judge, who is expected to spend 4-5 minutes analysing each beer, taking technical notes and awarding that beer a score.

In a final discussion round in each category, judges will collaborate to select a winner for that category and discuss why the beer merits the first place. Judging sheets are collected and will be distributed to the participants during on the date of the awards ceremony.


Competition Categories

In 2016, the competition categories are:

  1. Bottom Fermenting (Pils, Helles, Dunkel)
  2. Hefeweizen/Wheat Beer
  3. Pale Ale
  4. IPA
  5. Brown Ale, Porter, Stout
  6. Special Category for 2016: Belgian Ales



Thank you for your interest in the competition!


Rory Lawton (Head Competition Judge)


Christian Glaeser (Head Organizer)



Further Information

  • Web:berlinhomebrewingcompetition.de
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/berlinhomebrewingcompetition/
  • Twitter: @berlinbrew2016