Can Your Homebrew Make The Cut?

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14th Star Brew Day - Brett Seymour (Makethecut Home Brew Competition)
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The Beverage Warehouse and 14th Star Brewing Co. have created a homebrew competition unlike any other!

For the fourth year, Vermont homebrews will compete for a chance to have their beer produced and distributed commercially.

Unlike traditional homebrew competitions, our judges are made up of professional beer judges as well as hand-selected members of the beer industry, local media, and fans of craft beer. These are the people that brew, buy, drink, talk, and live for craft beer. Brews are judged not only on style but with a focus on commercial appeal and wow factor.

We are accepting 200 entries to be judged this year. Two finalists will be selected by the judges to brew a limited 120gal batch of their beer at 14th Star Brewing, which will then be sold in tasting pairs at participating Vermont craft beer meccas along with a ballot for public voting.

The winner of the 2018 Make The Cut Homebrew Challenge will be presented with a check for $1,000 from The Beverage Warehouse and be invited to brew a production sized batch of their winning beer at 14th Star Brewing Company (while maintaining rights to their recipe). Their beer will be launched to the public the week of the Vermont Brewers Festival and will be available on tap at select bars and restaurants, as well as in cans at local craft beer stores statewide.

We’re looking for the next great Vermont beer — does your homebrew have what it takes to Make the Cut?!

Do you and your homebrew have what it takes?
Click here to register.

The Faces Behind Make The Cut

The Faces Behind Make The Cut

Make The Cut Homebrew Challenge is the brainchild of The Beverage Warehouse, 14th Star Brewing Company, and Farrell Distributing. Their forces combined have the means to produce, distribute, and sell the best craft beer in Vermont.
These are your craft beer allies.

Jennifer Swiatek : Beverage Warehouse - Owner & Libation Hooligan

Jennifer Swiatek

Beverage Warehouse - Owner & Libation Hooligan

Jen has been involved in the Vermont beer scene since the age of 15 when she started working at the Beverage Warehouse. She was inspired to create "Make The Cut " after talking to countless Beverage Warehouse patrons over the years, who wondered if their beer had want it takes to make it commercially in Vermont.

Ryan Chaffin : Farrell Distributing - Director of Marketing

Ryan Chaffin

Farrell Distributing - Director of Marketing

Ryan loves the Vermont brew scene, and is proud to have been a part of it for over 15 years. As Director of Marketing at Farrell Ryan is proud to work every day with statewide retailers, world class suppliers, media friends, and community partners.

Steve Gagner : 14th Star Brewing Co. - Founder

Steve Gagner

14th Star Brewing Co. - Founder

Steve founded 14th Star Brewing Co. upon returning from Afghanistan in 2011. Steve is a former President of the Vermont Brewers Association and is a self-proclaimed astronaut. Steve knows what it takes to turn a homebrewing dream into a successful craft brewery.

Jason Dennis : Beverage Warehouse - Manager & Craft Beer Kraken

Jason Dennis

Beverage Warehouse - Manager & Craft Beer Kraken

With over a decade of experience in the wine, beer, and  liquor industry, Jason (Wine & Beer Manager, Beverage Warehouse) has managed multiple homebrew competitions in throughout the northeast.

David Rheaume : Graphic & Web Designer

David Rheaume

Graphic & Web Designer

A homebrewer and dreamer, David has been involved in the visual and creative side of the craft beer industry for over 8 years and is the graphic designer behind the packaging and promotional material for 14th Star Brewing Co. as well as the Make The Cut Homebrew Challenge.

Andrea Gagner : 14th Star Brewing Co. - CEO

Andrea Gagner

14th Star Brewing Co. - CEO

Andrea came to 14th Star in 2014, just prior to the initial MTC Competition. As the CEO she's actively involved in the competition, the winning beer's debut and its distribution throughout Vermont.

Winning Brews

Our 2017 Winner!

Congratulations
Ted Ortiz Y Pino!

Ted’s 2017 winning Fruit Sour, Squeeze The Day, is a perfect introduction to sour beer. This medium body kettle-soured beer was brewed with the peel of four citrus fruits and proved to be a refreshingly tart crowd-pleaser.

Check out all the finalists from the 2017 Make The Cut competition

Our 2016 Winner!

Congratulations
Roland Maheux!

Roland's 2016 winning Altbier, Verkaufen, is a complex brew with balanced sweetness upfront, pleasing mid-palate bitterness, and a crisp finish. This hickory colored, German Alt inspired beer is a blending of new and old brewing practices.
Check out all the finalists from the 2016 Make The Cut competition

Our 2015 Winner!

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Congratulations
Brett Seymour!

Brett’s 2015 winning Schwarzbier, Salute Your Schwarz, proves that the right combination of malts can be just as interesting as the right combination of hops. This easy drinking dark lager is the perfect introduction to dark beers.
Check out all the finalists from the 2015 Make The Cut competition

Register Now

Register today for a chance of a lifetime!

MAKE THE CUT - YEAR 4

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REGISTRATION FEES


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By clicking “Submit” you acknowledge you have read and agree to the Contest Rules & Regulations listed below.

You will be redirected to make your payment safely and securely via PayPal.

Don’t have a PayPal account? You can pay with a credit card or bank account through PayPal as well!

Your registration is not complete until we receive payment.

Quotes

"By competing in MTC passionate homebrewers can let their creativity flow without the significant financial risk of starting a brewery."

Andrea Gagner - 14th Star Brewing Co.

"This competition allows the true spirit of craft beer to shine; creativity and and the love of really good beer are what this industry is founded on."

Andrea Gagner - 14th Star Brewing Co.

"To see where this local Vermont homebrewing competition has gone the last few years is amazing, and the entries have been beyond impressive."

Ryan Chaffin - Farrell Distributing

"This is a chance for 14th Star to give back too the home brewing community and give someone a chance to prove that their beer belongs in the marketplace."

Steve Gagner – 14th Star Brewing Co.

"You just can’t put a monetary figure for this kind of an opportunity, we are going to allow you to test your dream of making this a professional reality."

Jennifer Swiatek – Beverage Warehouse

"This is a great way for us to help support the amazing beer culture we have."

Ryan Chaffin – Farrell Distributing

"What sets this apart from some of the larger, similar competitions is that we are not taking the recipe, it will be very clear that this is the competition champion’s beer."

Steve Gagner - 14th Star Brewing Co.

The Judges

Your homebrew entries will be judged by a panel of professional beer judges; as well as hand-selected members of the beer industry, local media, and fans of craft beer.

2018 Make The Cut judges will be announced soon!

Partners

We have partnered with some great people
and places to make this competition possible.

Interested in becoming a Make The Cut Partner?

Contact Us

Contest Rules & Regulations

General

  • Competition is open to Vermont residents over 21 only. Proof of residence and age will be required of finalists.
  • Open to anyone who is not currently brewing professionally or owns a brewery. Other brewery employees (Administrative staff, sales team, etc.) are eligible to enter, provided they are not involved in brewing/cellaring.
  • Only one entry recipe per individual/team.
  • Competition is open to all recognized beer styles, however, brewers should make note of the competitions timelines. (ie, a year-long barrel aged beer is out of the scope of the competition)
  • Winning recipes from previous years competitions are not eligible to enter, however, all participating homebrewers are welcome to compete again.
  • Winner of the Make The Cut Homebrew Challenge will maintain all rights to their original recipe.
  • Portions of the contest will be photographed and filmed. By accepting the terms of the contest, you authorize Beverage Warehouse and 14th Star to use your likeness in promotional material.

Registration

  • Registration fee is $13. 100% of all registration fee profits go to charity — half will be donated to Purple Hearts Reunited and the remaining profits will be donated to a charity of the winner’s choice and $300 to a charity chosen by the runner-up.
  • Due to limited space registration fees are non-refundable, but you can feel good knowing your money will be put to good use by a charity!
  • Registration is capped at 200 entries, one entry per person.
  • After two weeks of open registration, if all 200 spots have not been taken, registered homebrewers will be allowed a chance to submit a second entry (for an additional entry fee).
  • A minimum of 125 total homebrew entries are needed to hold the completion. If minimum entry numbers are not met, registered homeberews will be notified and refunded their entry fee.

Entry Submission

  • A total of six (6) bottles are required for judging. 6 (six) 12oz or 6 (six) 22oz bottles of your homebrew must be hand delivered to the 14th Star Brewery (133 North Main St #7, St Albans VT 05478) on one of the three designated drop-off dates:
    • Thursday, January 25th, 2018 between the hours of 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    • Friday, January 26th, 2018 between the hours of 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    • Saturday, January 27th, 2018 between the hours of 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Entries brought in before or after drop off dates will not be considered.
  • Bottles should be submitted without a label or identifying mark.
  • Upon submission homebrew entries must be carbonated and ready for cold storage.
  • Any mailed entries will be returned to sender, if possible, or destroyed without judging.
  • All entries must have proper submission form (provided via email to all those who register) and recipe enclosed to be considered.
  • Recipes must include, at a minimum:
    • Grain bill
    • Hop schedule
    • Yeast used
    • Adjuncts/other ingredients
    • Mash temp/time/type/steps/water volume, etc
    • Sparge time/temp/water volume etc
    • Fermentation times/temps/steps, etc
    • Source of water: Tap, bottled, spring, snow, sap, rain, etc
    • Brewing salt additions/filtration methods
    • Brewing water chemistry, if known.

Judging & Prizes

  • Make The Cut has been designed to be a homebrew competition unlike any other! Judging to determine the winner of the Make The Cut Homebrew Challenge consists of three rounds and features judges composed of hand selected members of the beer industry, local media, and fans of craft beer. Each round of judging will be done in an innovative industry format and beers will be tapped to move on if they “Make the Cut”:
    • Round 1 – A selection of varied beers are be given to panels of judges. Each panel of judges will pick their two favorite brews (regardless of style) from their lot to send to the second round. No number scores will be given, but notes (what they liked/didn’t like) will be recorded and mailed back for each entry.
    • Round 2 – The “Master’s Table” will consist of experts in the craft beer field — from Industry Members to BJCP Judges. Out of the finalists from round one, they will select 2 beers to be brewed by the winning homebrewer at 14th Star Brewing for the people’s vote. This round will be an enhanced judging that looks for the next commercially viable standout. Unlike prior years they will not be judged by BJCP traditional standards.
    • Round 3 – The two finalist from round two will be sold in tasting pairs at participating Make The Cut partner locations along with a ballot for public voting to determine the Make The Cut champion!
  • Judges notes for all beers will be available upon request following the judging. Judges notes will be more extensive for brews that make it to round two of judging. If you would like to receive judges notes, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your homebrew submissions.
  • Winning brewer will be presented with a check for $1,000 from The Beverage Warehouse and be invited back to brew a production sized batch of their winning beer at 14th Star Brewing Company (while maintaining rights to their recipe).
  • The winning beer will be launched to the public the week of the Vermont Brewers Festival and will be available on tap at select bars and restaurants, as well as in cans at local craft beer stores statewide.
  • The Brewer shall earn no monies from sales of the product. Majority value in this competition lie in the exposure of their product.