If beauty is in the eye of the beer holder, imagine how beautiful they would look to judge Stuart Upton after he spends Saturday and Sunday sampling four an hour at this year’s NSW State Home Brewing Championship.
‘‘Each of the 20 to 25 judges just take a small sample,’’ Mr Upton, of Northmead, assured.
That said he did joke they wouldn’t be driving in a hurry afterwards.
‘‘Appearance is important, but the things we are looking for are aroma and flavour ... as well as mouth feel.’’
Judging will occur at Castle Hill Showground and winning brews will be on public display in March at the Castle Hill Show.
There are 84 judging categories, including common pale ales, stouts, fruit beers, meads and ciders.
The competition is registered with the international US-based Beer Judge Certification Program and uses the Australian Amateur Brewing Championship style guidelines, along with BJCP styles for meads and ciders.
Past entrants include Darren Robinson of Cherrybrook, founder of the Doctor’s Orders Brewing brand — seasonal beers brewed out of the Australian Brewery in Rouse Hill — and Young Henry’s in Newtown.
‘‘I think people start by thinking they would save some money but, as they get into it they spend more, buying equipment, nicer ingredients; there’s a lot of similarities with cooking in that way,’’ Mr Upton said.
‘‘You can make exotic beers — and they can be every bit as good as [commercial] exotic beers.’’
To make the point, commercial beers were entered anonymously into the championship last year but they didn’t do very well, he said.
‘‘This competition’s not about winning but about providing information to the brewers so they can make a better beer,’’ Mr Upton said.
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