High Country Beer Fest tasting glasses

Tasting glasses are offered at High Country Beer Fest.

BOONE — Ivory Tower is partnering with Booneshine Brewery to host the inaugural High Country Home Brew Competition.

Home brewers from around the country are allowed to submit a beer of their creation; the submission deadline is June 17. The winning selection will then be brewed on Booneshine’s 10-bbl system and served at this year’s High Country Beer Fest on Aug. 28.

Home brewing is a large part of the craft beer history of the High Country. Lost Province Brewing and Booneshine Brewing were both started by recreational home brewers. The first brewpub to open in the county, Tumbleweed, was run by former home brewer and first American GABF medal winning sour beer brewer, Kinney Baughman.

High Country Beer Fest organizer Willard Watson said that home brewers are the real innovators of the craft beer scene.

“Some of the best beers in the world have come from someone’s stove top,” Watson said. “The Beer Fest has always prioritized fermentation education, and now we want to support home brewing innovation. You never know, maybe the winning beer you sample this summer at Beer Fest might make it onto the taps around the country.”

Competition rules:

  • The style is up to the home brewer, but the submission must fall into the guidelines for the style that is chosen.
  • Home brewers may use one yeast strain of their choice.
  • Home brewers must use 2-row pale ale malt as the base, and may use up to one specialty malt of their choosing.
  • Cascade hops must be used, and home brewers may choose up to one other hop varietal of their choosing.
  • Those entering may use one wild card ingredient of their choosing.
  • Recipes must be provided with the entries.

Beers must be submitted in two 12 ounce bottles/cans with the following information: Brewer name, brew date, beer style, recipe and a check for $50 made out to Ivory Tower. Submissions must be received by June 17.

Submissions can be mailed to:

  • Fermentation Sciences
  • C/O Dan Parker
  • Appalachian Panhellenic Hall
  • 949 Blowing Rock Road
  • Boone, NC 28608

The home brew competition will be judged by a team of three brewing professionals and an official home brew judge. Judging will be live-streamed on June 19 at 3 p.m., with winners announced at that time.

The first place brewer will receive two tickets to this year’s High Country Beer Fest; their beer brewed on Booneshine’s 10-bbl system and served at Booneshine and the Beer Fest; and a signed poster version of the beer label from artist Joe Cameron.

The first and second runners up will each receive a ticket to the Beer Fest.

Ivory tower is a nonprofit whose mission includes technical, scientific research from fundamental to applied level fermentation as well as topics related to sociology, culture, and economics. Ivory Tower produces small-batch, craft beverages with help from university students, faculty and volunteers dedicated to the discipline.

More information about Ivory Tower can be found at ivorytowerscience.com. More information about the High Country Beer Fest can be found at hcbeerfest.com. More information about Booneshine can be found at www.booneshine.beer.

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