NYC Beer Week opened with a pop and clink this past weekend, with the First Annual Homebrewers Competition at Randolph Beer in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Contestants were asked to bring 12 oz bottles of their homemade hops, which were tasted by a panel of Randolph’s judges, including beer writer Justin Kennedy. The event was a success, according to Kyle Kensrue, director of operations for Randolph Beer.
“It was great,” said Kensrue. “For the first time we’ve ever done it, it was pretty cool to have people that excited.”
It took nearly three and a half hours of grueling taste-testing to decide a winner, but during that time about 50 guests reveled in the warm atmosphere of the glossy brewpub. They pulled from the beer wall and gathered in the mezzanine for a bottle share, awaiting the announcement of a winner.
Matt Horn won “Best in Show” for his homemade farmhouse saison with pluots, and, as part of his prize, will have the opportunity to make his recipe on Randolph’s seven-barrel brewing system, alongside head brewer J.R. Jordan.
“It really came down to balance. There were some really good beers, but they were missing one little piece to balance them out,” said Kensrue, who sat on the panel of judges. “Matt’s beer had balance. It was tart, but not overly tart. A little touch of sweetness from the pluots. It was a very drinkable beer.”
There’s a bevy of NYC Beer Week events on tap this week. You can check out a list right here.