When Scott Anderson learned he’d won gold at the 2017 National Homebrew Competition (NHC), he messaged his dad and brewing partner.
“I was just coming off the golf course and got a text from Scott with a video of the announcement,” Dave Anderson remembers. “I thought, wow, we did great — we got a bronze!”
It took a few beats for Dave to wrap his head around the fact that the two actually had won gold at the world’s largest homebrewing competition.
Its Rocket Surgeon Summer Ale not only advanced to the final round, but it beat out 246 other beers in the English Pale Ale category to earn the top prize.
“I was sitting there in the audience and when our category came up and they read off the bronze winner, our name wasn’t called,” says Scott Anderson. “If we didn’t get bronze, then I thought, oh we’re out of it. When they read off the gold medal it was a weird feeling, kind of like time stopped.”
Utah Homebrewers: Vying for 2019 Glory
Fast-forward two years and Dave and (Dave) Scott Anderson — Utah homebrewers known as Dave Dave Brewing Co. — are back in the NHC finals.
This year, the duo placed two beers — a Pilsner and an American Pale Ale — in the finals. Eight other Utah homebrewers also advanced through the initial round of judging. Winners will be announced on June 29 at the 41st Annual Homebrew Con in Providence, R.I.
The first NHC took place in 1979 and featured 34 entries. In 2018, more than 8,400 beers vied for homebrew supremacy in what is now the world’s largest homebrew competition
“The goal is simple,” organizers say. “To celebrate the spirit of homebrewers.”
For Chaz Smith, who’s homebrewed for about eight years, it’s a thrill to watch his beers go toe-to-toe with the best in the world.
“It’s a really cool feeling and validation when you get a beer going on to the finals,” says Smith, who brewed a lower-alcohol “table beer” for this year’s event. “About 50% of the grain bill is spelt, unmalted wheat, and flaked rye. It’s something weird that I just made up.”
Smith, who entered the NHC for the first time in 2018, saw two of his beers advance to the finals last year. This year, Smith’s beer took bronze in the San Francisco regional, earning it a trip to Providence.
Medalists — first through third — in each of 13 first-round competition sites advance to the final round.
In addition to determining the best of the best, the NHC also gives homebrewers a chance to receive feedback on their entries. That is the primary reason the father-son homebrewing team of Dave and Scott Anderson enter homebrew competitions.
“Every competition we ever do, we just put it in for the scores,” says Dave Anderson. “We really want to find out what others think about it. We don’t care if we win or medal — we just want dang good scores.”
Utah Homebrewers: Finalists
The following is a list of Utah homebrewers that advanced to the finals of the 2019 National Homebrew Competition. Thank you to Dave Dave Brewing Co., a father-son local homebrew tandem, for providing Utah Beer News with the list.
The first round of competition included 13 regional sites. In order to advance to the finals, the beer needed to medal at one of the regionals (in parentheses). The beer style is listed as well, with the Beer Judge Certification Program category number in parentheses.
- Scott Anderson (Regional: Indianapolis)
- Pilsner (BJCP Category: 3)
- American Pale Ale (8)
- Zachary Belles (Minneapolis)
- Pilsner (3)
- Pale European (4)
- Brandon Holladay (San Francisco)
- Pale British Ale (12)
- Cody McKendrick (San Francisco)
- Pilsner (3)
- Brian McKray (San Francisco)
- British Irish Stout (16)
- Steve Moga (Tampa)
- Pale European (2)
- Christina Ogrin (Denver)
- Specialty Cider & Perry (40)
- Chaz Smith (San Francisco)
- Speciality Beer (31)
- Dean Volungis (Cleveland)
- American Wild Ale (28)
Congratulations to Brandon Holladay (and brewing partner David Marsh) who walked away with a silver medal in the 2019 National Homebrew Competition.