Can beer made in the kitchen match up with that made in the brewhouse? At this year's Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest, we are challenging local home brewers to show us the best of their kettle-cooked creations.
The inaugural home brewing competition at the festival will feature beers made by the contestants. Samples will be served during the premium hour, which runs from 1-2 p.m. All entries will go through two rounds of judging, one conducted by premium ticket holders and another by our panel of beer judges.
Here's how it will work.
A maximum of 12 home brewers are being selected on a first-come, first-served basis. They will then be submitting up to five of their own beers into the competition. Each contestant must serve their own beers at the festival, and may be dispensed from a keg, bottle or growler. If you are a home brewer and already have beer prepared and would like to gain last minute entry into the competition, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The home brewing competition begins at 1 p.m., and continues until 2 p.m. There will be two rounds of voting: the first is the premium judging round and the second is the final judging round.
In the first round, every premium ticket holder will receive a single ballot, and is invited to sample any home brewed beer that is served and then vote on their single favorite entry. Ballots may be submitted in boxes provided by Isthmus, which will then tally the votes to determine the top five finalists. If any home brewed beer remains, contestants are encouraged to continue serving until they run out of their products.
The final round will be conducted immediately after the five finalists are announced. A panel of 10 expert judges, including Isthmus beer writers, will sample and vote on their favorite beer among the finalists. In the case of a tie, One Barrel Brewing Company owner and brewmaster Peter Gentry will make the final determination of a winner.
After the final round, the grand prize winner of the competition will be announced at the festival. Their winning creation will be brewed and served on tap at One Barrel Brewing Company.
Buy your tickets today online or at the following ticket vendor locations: Isthmus Publishing Company, Star Liquor, or any Steve's location. Advance tickets are $40, and premium tickets are $75. And remember, as the fest sells out every year, tickets won't last much longer!
You must be 21 or older to attend.
Need a ride? Union Cab is offering free shuttle rides on the day of the fest from these locations: Great Dane-Downtown at 123 E. Doty St., One Barrel Brewing Company at 2001 Atwood Ave., and Vintage Brewing Company at 674 S. Whitney Way. Shuttles to the fest run in loops from 11:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m., and shuttles from the fest from 5:30-7:15 p.m. Union Cab is also offering $2 rides to the fest from anywhere in the city, and a discounted ride home.
Like the Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest on Facebook for updates and more details as the event approaches.
The 2014 Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Wisconsin Brewing Company, Brew & Grow, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Mad City Windows, Union Cab, MINI of Madison, Gorst Valley Hops, Rock Auto, Star Liquor, Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier, Great Dane Pub & Brewing, Willy Street Coop, Karben4 Brewing, Glass Nickel Pizza, Tipsy Cow, Conscious Carnivore, Wine & Hop Shop, and One Barrel Brewing Company.