Catching up on some news, a fellow by the name of Seth Townsend won Ska Brewing Co.'s GABF Pro-Am Homebrew Competition with his Organic Dubbel.
Townsend won "Best In Show" and also took top honors in the Belgian Strong Ale category.
As with past winners, Townsend will have his beer entered in the Pro-Am category of the Great American Beer Festival – the nation’s largest beer competition and festival. The beer will also be brewed on a commercial scale for release as part of Ska’s popular Local Series, which is distributed around Durango and Southwest Colorado. Townsend will have the chance to participate in the commercial scaling and production of his recipe for the Local Series.
Last year's winner, Clancy Calhoun of Aztec, N.M., brewed a tasty Schwarzbier, a dark German-style lager. The nice thing about competitions like these is the winning beers tend to taste good.
Ska has its own roots in homebrewing: the three co-founders all got their start as homebrewers.
“Homebrewers have the kind of DIY spirit that drove us to keep growing and improving," Ska President and co-founder Dave Thibodeau said in a news release. "We really respect that. That’s how a lot of craft breweries — including Ska — came to be."
Townsend is understandably excited at the leap his homebrewing career has just taken.
“My goal this year was to earn a spot in the GABF Pro-Am, so I focused on homebrew competitions that were selecting beers to enter it,” Townsend said. “The best part of this is that I’ll get to work with one of my favorite breweries, right here in Colorado. Honestly, I can’t think of a more fun brewery to be collaborating with to scale up my Organic Dubbel. I think it also shows that organic beer can stand up — and out — in a crowd.”
Chris Swersey, GABF's competition manager, had this to say about the Pro-Am category: “Because so many professional brewers began as homebrewers, the GABF Pro-Am competition is a great reflection of craft brewer unity at all levels. The Pro-Am serves to keep professional brewers and homebrewers in touch with each other, and serves as an exciting competitive forum for both AHA and BA professional members. But most importantly the Pro-Am is fun.”
Complete judging results for Ska' competition can be found here.