Before we announce the winners of Hop Idol 2023, we want to express our sadness at the tragic events that unfolded yesterday morning and send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured. It was a very sad day for Nottingham and it felt very unfortunate that our judging event took place with this background.
We have to first say thank you to everyone who entered the competition – the quality of the beers was generally very high with one judge commenting that if they hadn’t known it was a homebrew competition, they would have thought they were assessing commercially produced beers! There were some that stood out amongst the pack and we’re delighted to announce the winners as follows….
Nottinghamshire – Castle Rock Pilot Project Brewing Prize goes to Mike Alexander with a Belgian Patersbier, easy drinking Belgian pale. This beer scored highly in both rounds and really wowed the judges for its perfectly balanced flavour and inviting drinkability.
National – Williamswarn brew kit prize goes to Kevin Surridge-Dines with Blind Dragon’s Breath, an oak smoked wheat wine. This highly unusual beer also wowed the judges, with its big smoky flavour, richness and warming alcohol buzz. A beer more suited to a cold winter night by the fire, than a hot, balmy June evening!
Eight runners up prizes of Charles Faram goodie bags
Sam Luczynski with Reverse Cups!, an American pale with modern hops
Kieren Key with Between Blocks, a hazy New England IPA made with Kveik Yeast
Scott Clarke with Everything’s a drum, a DDH Cold IPA
Graham Meakin with Coffee & Cascade, a single hopped American IPA with added coffee
Greg Profitt with Ludicrous Times, a rich roasted coffee Imperial Stout with hints of vanilla
Matt Durant with Disco Parrott, an easy-drinking American pale ale that packs tropical fruit and mixed berries and is rounded off with a smooth bitterness.
Tom Burwood-Ansell with Scene Borrower, a slightly hazy pale ale, heavily hopped with US, German and New Zealand hops.
Adam Leatherland with Penny Black, an American porter robust, dark and rich.
Our aim is to send feedback to all the brewers who entered by the end of June 2023.
We have to say a huge thank you to all the people that helped make Hop Idol 2023 such an amazing competition and fabulous judging event.
Danny Pearson, Nicky Onorati and Jess Collins at Castle Rock Brewery – for offering the brewing prize and hosting the judging event so perfectly.
Mike at Williamswarn for offering the brew kit prize and supporting the judging event.
Richard Davies & Charlie Gorham at Charles Faram for offering the goodie bag for the eight runners up.
Matt Grace and team at The Abdication for receiving and looking after many of the entries.
Seth from Art of Beer for the excellent artwork and visuals.
Matt, Luke, Karl and David for being excellent stewards and keeping all the judging tables supplied with their beers and clean tasting glasses.
And finally a massive thanks and well done to all the hard-working expert judges who spent the evening diligently assessing all 100 beers. They are a pretty impressive bunch!
Mike from WilliamsWarn
Matt and Andy from Brew Day
Steph and Celina from Murphy and Sons
Alex and Dan from Black Iris Brewery
Craig from Navigation Brewery
James and Salli from Magpie Brewery
Joe Griffiths from Big Sky Brewing
Nige and Shippo from Bang the Elephant
Damian from Emperor’s Brewery
Scott from Lenton Lane Brewery
Ant from Adventure Beer
Ash from Collyfobble Brewery
Clare from South Notts Real Ale Festival
Ben from Kraftwerks
Steve from Cock & Hoop
Aimee from The Barrel Drop
Emily from Beerheadz
Rachel from Totally Tapped
Steve and Danielle from Nottingham CAMRA
Rachael, Lizzie, Amy and Alice from No Half Measures
Graeme Green 2022 Winner
Keen beer enthusiasts Rich and Evan
We also note that others had hoped to be there, but due to the events on the day were unable to join us.