The 19th Annual War of the Worts took place on February 22, 2014 at Keystone Homebrew Supply in Montgomeryville, PA. Registration for the competition began back in mid-January, giving homebrewers the chance to compete against the best the region has to offer. Judging took place throughout the day, and the awards ceremony took place that evening.
Before handing out awards, local brewers and reps from Naked Brewing, Free Will, Iron Hill, Round Guys, Prism, and Neshaminy Creek were on hand to serve up free samples to the homebrewers in attendance. Food from Blue Dog Family Tavern & Pub was available including wings, fried chicken, fried zucchini, pasta, and a fruit cobbler.
There were 855 entries and 378 registered participants, judges, and stewards. Winners who were present were able to choose from a variety of beer prizes provided by an impressive list of sponsors.
Jeremy Myers, head brewer at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company in Croydon, PA personally selected a beer from the Best of Show judging table to be scaled up and brewed on their production brewery system.
The selected homebrewer, Michael Dietz from the Keystone Hops, will brew his House Blend Stout, entered in the smoked beer category, and possibly enter the beer in the 2014 GABF Pro-Am Competition.
The top prize, Best of Show, went to John Slotterback and Fred Rogers from PA Alers for their Kahuna Coconut Porter.
Berks Homebrew Club members who earned ribbons included Brian Ballentine, earning 1st place in the Bock category for his Incarnator Doppelbock and Karen Palcho, earning both 1st and 2nd place in the Belgian Specialty Ale category for her Rustic Saison and Karen’s Wild Ale.
Joe Moran and Matt Kennedy, also known as Outta Hand Brews, earned four second place ribbons for their 36 Chambers Rye Saison, OHB Flander’s Red, OHB Dubbel, and Golden Strong aged on Tart Cherries.
War of the Worts is the first part of the Keystone Cup club competition. Homebrew clubs accumulate points at the War of the Worts and the Malt Madness as club members’ beers win. The club with the most points at the end wins the Keystone Cup. The Keystone Hops walked away with 56 total points, putting them in a great spot to reclaim the Keystone Cup from the Stoney Creek Homebrewers.
War of the Worts is also the start of the Eastern Pennsylvania Homebrewer of the Year (EPHY) competition. Last year’s title was earned by Josh Weikert of the Stoney Creek Homebrewers. Josh earned eight ribbons and an honorable mention at this year’s War of the Worts, putting him in a good spot to keep his title. The other three legs of EPHY are Buzz Off, Malt Madness and the Stoney Creek Homebrewers Amateur Brewing Championship.
Congratulations to all of the winners!