Calling Home Brewers

2019 Competition Launched

Stockport Bottles at last years judging & South Manchester Branch is again launching a competition for local home brewers to find up to five beers for Bar Nouveau at next year's Stockport Beer & Cider Festival.

Bar Nouveau was introduced in 2015 and features brand new beers launched at the festival, It's proved to be a very successful feature and we will be running it again next year (the festival dates are 30 May to 1 June 2019). There will be 10 beers, all served on a separate bar and stored in a temperature-controlled cellar to ensure optimum condition.

For the past three years we have involved local home brewers and have been delighted by the response. As before, the festival will purchase two or three firkins of each winning beer and the rest will be sold on to the market by the brewers concerned. If you are a home brewer this is a great chance to join in a brew day at a local brewery and also see one of your beers out there on sale to the public.

The brewers who have kindly agreed to host the winners are:

  • Torrside Brewing, New Mills (Speciality)
  • Stockport Brewing, Bredbury, Stockport (Mild)
  • Blackjack Brewery, Manchester (Bitter)
  • Marble Beers, Manchester (Stout/Porter)
  • Track Brewing, Manchester (IPA)

Many thanks to these brewers for supporting the competition.

Now - the beers

The five categories are quite broadly drawn so that people can use their imagination. Here's what we are looking for:

Mild - this can be dark or light, strong or weak. This is a chance to take an old beer style and run with it. Maximum ABV 5%

Bitter - session ales, ESBs, pale ales, brown, amber or blonde - the choice is yours. Maximum ABV 5.5%

IPA - while we're not style fanatics you should aim for a minimum ABV of 5%. Apart from that it's up to you - brown, red, black or white IPAs are all welcome. Maximum ABV 6.5%

Stout/Porter - again this is broadly drawn - added flavours and ingredients optional. Maximum ABV 6%

Speciality - this is where you can really go to town. Saisons, bocks, rauch biers - all are welcome. Maximum ABV 7.0%

A few things to bear in mind:

First - Last years judges hard at work Although the beers will be judged from bottle they will have to work as cask beers.

Second - In previous years we have asked people to think about the hops and while that's not really an issue now, please do think about commerciality. We will be buying some of each brew for the festival but the host brewers will have to sell the rest into the trade so the beers will have to be commercially viable for them.

Third - We will be looking to ensure the entries observe the ABV limits for each category - a tiny amount of drift is OK but not huge overshoots.

Finally - The time lapse between the earliest potential brewing of the beer and its need to be on sale at the Stockport Beer & Cider Festival is 8 weeks, so inclusion of a maturation period of 6 months is not possible.

How to enter

Just email your name, contact details and which categories you want to enter to:

The cut-off date for entering is 19 January 2019 (but we won't need final details of actual beers until early February).

The beer needs to be ready for judging in mid March 2019 (dates to be anounced) and this will take place at the Hope Inn, Wellington Road North, Stockport. Final arrangements for delivering your beer will be communicated to you nearer the time.