Last year, we held the inaugural Northern Monk Homebrew Competition. We invited homebrewers from up and down the country to submit their homebrewed dark beers in celebration of Dark & Wild City. Ideally, our second competition was going to be hosted to tie into Hop City 2020. The festival wasn’t able to go ahead, but we didn’t want to miss out on giving the beer community another opportunity to have their homebrew made at commercial scale.

The first Homebrew Club competition was won by Alex Beecroft, who brewed Lights Out, a hard-hitting 16.6% imperial stout with a seven-malt grist, that was aged on ex-Appleton Estate rum barrel chunks that were soaked in Bulleit Rye Bourbon. It was big.

As well as avid homebrewers, the Homebrew Club competition gave a platform to aspiring artists. We published a call out for submissions for label artwork, and the winning design was created by Neil Carter, whose detailed sketches echoed the different elements of the beer.

May 2020 sees us run our second Homebrew Club competition, and we’re looking for homebrew submissions that are focused on IPA’s above 6% to be brewed on the kit at the Old Flax Store and become the second beer in our Homebrew Heroes Patrons Project series. Any IPA style will be accepted, as long as it’s above that ABV threshold.

If you’d like to enter the competition, we require a minimum of 2 (but no more than 4) bottles of your beer, with the size of each to be at least 330ml. Each bottle will need to be clearly labelled with your contact details, style, ABV, and adjuncts. The submission window will be open between the 6th and 13th of June. We’re aware that physically getting your beer to us may bring some challenges, so we’ve put together three different ways in which you can submit your bottles:

– Post your bottles to us at Brian Dickson, Northern Monk, Unit 7, Sydenham Road, Leeds, LS11 9RU.

– Drop your bottles at the brewery. If you’d like to submit this way, email us at the homebrew email address (homebrew@northernmonk.com) and we’ll give you a designated time to drop your bottles at the end of Sydenham Road. You’ll place your box / bag of bottles on the pavement, return to your vehicle or stand at least 2m away, and a member of the team, wearing the appropriate PPE, will collect it from the drop off spot.

– If you don’t live locally or can’t get to a post office, we can arrange a DHL parcel collection. This will get the beer from your home to our brewery, and we’ll send you an invoice for the cost of the collection. If you’d like to book a collection, email us via homebrew@northernmonk.com.

Alongside the physical bottles, please also submit an in-depth brew schedule including full details of ingredients used and quantities, along with all other processes involved to homebrew@northernmonk.com. It’d also be great to get some photos of you brewing your beer.

The beers will be judged by a panel of the Northern Monk team, which will include a mix of professional brewers and qualified tasters.

We’re also going to be running the artwork competition alongside. If you’re a grassroots illustrator from the North who’s been looking for a way to get your art onto a can, send your submissions to homebrew@northernmonk.com. Due to the fact that we’re collecting artwork alongside the beer submissions, instead of basing the art on the winning recipe itself, we’re asking all artwork to be designed on the theme of ‘community’. The winning piece of artwork will feature on the can for the second beer in our Homebrew Heroes Patrons Project.

Both the homebrew and artist winners will be announced w/c 15th June. It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to run a physical Homebrew Club event to announce the winner like we did last time, so we’ll be running the next Homebrew Club meet via an online tasting and Q&A. More details to be announced nearer the time.

If you’d be interested in attending the virtual Homebrew Club, please fill out the email sign up form at the bottom of this post to ensure that you receive full details.

Both competitions are open for entries now.