Offerings from sublime to the undrinkable

22:39, Feb 03 2013
From left, James Owen, Kerri Turner and Martin Helbaek try some homebrew beer at the Huinga homebrew festival held at Huinga Hall over the weekend.
BOTTOMS UP: From left, James Owen, Kerri Turner and Martin Helbaek try some homebrew beer at the Huinga homebrew festival held at Huinga Hall over the weekend.

Four lucky judges tasted their way through 68 beers at the annual Huinga homebrew festival over the weekend.

Now in its third year, the festival attracts homemade beer, cider and pickle punters from all around the country, event co-ordinator Vaughan Wood said.

The main reason behind the festival starting three years ago was to bring the community together and put the Huinga Hall to good use, he said.

homebrew stand
Kerri Turner and Martin Helbaek try some hombrew beer at Huinga Hall during the weekend.

A crowd of about 80 turned out to the weekend-long affair including 50-odd competitors.

"This is the most people it will see all year," Mr Wood said.

Beer judge Ian Watson, along with three other beer enthusiasts, tasted 68 beers across 11 styles on Saturday.

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Some were good, the majority were OK and two or three were undrinkable.

The beer styles were tasted from the lightest first to the strongest at the end and bribery was rife throughout the tasting session, he said.

This year had attracted the most interesting homebrew beers the event had seen since it started, Mr Wood said. For many of the brewers it was the one time of the year to catch up.

"They're swapping ideas and sampling each other's brews."

Home-made liqueur, limoncello, cider, mead, chutney, jam, sauce and pickles were all put forward for judging.

"Some people have put up a dozen different entries," he said.

Live music played all Friday night and Saturday and on Sunday a horseshoe pitching competition got under way.

Chauncy Ardell said it was the best homebrew festival in the country.

"This is a great amalgamation of people from around the country," Mr Ardell said.

Craft beer experts from Mike's Organic Brewery were there keeping an eye out for a beer which had marketability, Mr Wood said.

If they came across something which had marketable appeal a collaboration could be on the cards, he said.

"They're looking for something a bit different."

Taranaki Daily News