Homebrew competition: Lager (Corona proof 2021 edition)

Remember when we announced a lager competition last year and Corona happened? It really messed with our competition format and we did not have any competitions for over a year! But recently we had a really successful Secret Santa event this December. We will use all that we have learned from Secret Santa and apply it to our competition to make it fun and safe!

What is new and how will it work?

Because of Corona we need to be a bit more creative with distribution and organisation. Tom, of Yaya Kombucha, has offered to be the collection hub for all beers. Members will be asked to drop off their bottles at Tom or Yaya Kombucha. All beers will be packaged and will be shipped to your address. Because of this will require a small fee to cover costs of shipping. Judging beers will happen through Google Docs followed by an online meeting.

This is the step by step breakdown:

  1. You will need to sign up for the competition before 28 February. You can sign up here! We are an open-for-all homebrew group and all homebrewers can participate.
  2. Signing up means that you commit to dropping your homebrewed beer off at Yaya / Tom in Amsterdam and commit to the costs for shipping and packaging, which is Euro 10,00. The fee will need to be paid before dropping off bottles. The shipment company does not deliver outside of the Netherlands or to the Waddeneilanden, sorry 🙁
  3. The beers will be judged against BJCP style guidelines (see links below). To enter a beer you will need to brew and hand in 1 bottle or can for every participant. We will communicate the number of bottles to be handed in after signup closes, expect up to about 20.
  4. The bottle needs to be labeled with the BJCP style, so particpants know how to evaluate it. To promote fairness please do not label it with your name or other information like ABV, IBU, ingredients etc. If there are any allergens or additions in the beer it NEEDS to be labeled. This means additions like gelatin, lactose, peanuts or any other allergens or animal products. If possible refrain from any of these as they are restrictive to some people and not required for the lager style. Let’s keep it inclusive.
  5. Drop off your beer at Yaya Kombucha (Nieuwe Hemweg 14 E, 1013 BG Amsterdam) or Tom (address will only be communicated to those that need to know :)). We will communicate details on what are good dates and times to drop off the beers. You can also send them well packaged at your own costs. At this moment we expect the last week of March or early April 2021 to be good dates for drop off.
  6. Tom will collect all the beers, make it into nice packages, and send them to your home address with their shipping partner. It’s super convenient!
  7. You will have about 2 weeks time to sample all the beers. After sampling you can give your evaluation through a Google Form.
  8. We will plan a competition evening on Tuesday 20 April 2021 through Zoom/Teams/Meet. We will walk through the beers one by one and discuss them based on the input.
  9. We will announce the winner of the competition in the meeting. The winner will win eternal glory – or at least until we all forget about the competion. There is no prize to be won, but there is a lot of fun and learning.

We define lagers as all beers that are traditionally brewed with bottom-fermented yeasts. In general they are defined by being crisp and easy drinking. In the last years lagers have been making a comeback with those fed up with craft beers going in crazy directions (don’t check our previous competition please).

Even though we say this is a restricted style competition; there are loads of different styles of lagers. You can choose from a large range of beers to brew (listed below). This is the deal: you choose under which category your beer will be entered. People judging the beer will judge it against the style guide style. If you manage to make a pilsner with a top fermenting yeast – more power to you.

A litte guidance for those wanting to participate: if you want a bright and crispy lager you should brew a bit earlier than you normally would. A large part of the look and crispness comes from the process of lagering (keeping the beer at low temperatures for an extended time). Take this into account when planning your entry.

Also, even though temperature control and some water treatment are a good idea when brewing a lager – we have also seen great results with some shortcuts. Yeasts like California lager yeast get great results at room temperatures. Don’t let anything stop you brewing a great lager – you will be judged by the final product and not by your process.

Our FOEBAR competition rules apply and can be found here.

We have loads a number of members that can help you with taking your first steps into lagers! Need to help getting started? Want to get nerdy with water profiles? have questions? or just want to show off your progress? Join our message board / mailing list!

1 Comment

  1. Morgan in Amsterdam January 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    I brewed my lager yesterday. Really looking forward to my first FOEBAR competition!

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