Professional brewers don’t have all the fun in this town.
Homebrewers, who are crucial to craft brewing and are often how many brewers get their start, try to enter in competitions to test their brewing prowess — and there’s one in Austin that doubles as a fundraiser for an area school. For the second year in a row, the Austin Home Brew Festival is open to locals interested in tasting some good homebrew and voting on their favorite ones.
From 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 14, the Austin Home Brew Festival will also offer a silent auction, light bites from Gourdough’s Public House and live bluegrass and American folk rock by Silo Road, the Wheelwrights and Rusty Razors. Like last year, it’s at the Getaway Motor Club, 3700 Thompson St., in East Austin.
All the while, judges from three local breweries and the American-Statesman will be evaluating each of the brews to ultimately award a Best in Show, a Silver Brew and a Bronze Brew. I’ll be joined at the judges’ table by Josh Hare of Hops & Grain, Rus Hall of South Austin Brewery and Jason Watkins of Live Oak Brewing.
The homebrewers participating include local homebrewing stalwarts like Keith and Pam Bradley, Corey and Angela Martin, and Chris Rauschuber and Whitney Roberts — the latter two who may well be entering in their last homebrew competition. They’re about to go pro with the slated launch of their North Austin brewpub, the Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen, sometime next year.
To attend the fest, purchase a one-year membership of the Austin Home Brew Appreciation Society for $45 or VIP membership to the group for $90. The VIP membership comes with some perks: invitations to craft beer events across the country and early admission (5:30 p.m.) to the Nov. 14 festival, as well as a chef’s tasting with Gourdough’s throughout the fest. All membership proceeds will be donated to the AHB Community School, a small progressive nonprofit.
For more information, visit www.ahbfestival.org.