Homebrewers compete annually at the US Open Homebrew Competition, which is held each year in May at the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. The competition is organized by the non-profit club Carolina Brewmasters. The US Open lasts over nine hours as certified judges review over 500 entries from across the United States. During the competition, the Gambrinus Cup is judged and the winner gets to have their beer brewed on a commercial scale by Foothills Brewing Company. The Gambrinus Cup itself is a Renaissance Festival artisan crafted trophy and will be presented to the winner during the Festival’s BrewFest celebration held annually the third weekend of October.
Trey Lovelace and his Kolsch, were this year’s Gambrinus Cup winner. In catching up with Trey, I got some insight into how he brews! The kolsch is a beer that he brews often and has won a few medals with. He has a hybrid 5 gallon electric/propane setup. Basically a PID HERMs Rubbermaid cooler with a HLT and a propane fired kettle.
He comments, “It is such a basic beer and thus I never expected it to win the Gambrinus. It is a beer I mostly brew for the pitch of yeast for my alt beers and thus I don’t worry much about perfecting it. When I entered the beer I didn’t even realize it was for the Foothills brew as I just throw in every beer I have ready.”
Apart of winning the award is getting to spend the day at Foothills brewing. Trey said brewing with Dave was a great experience, but he mostly stayed out of his way and let him do his job. Trey thought Dave was great and his brewing style reflected his own that he has developed over the years. “He doesn’t sweat the small things and just relaxes and gets it done” noticed Trey.
The Carolina Renaissance Festival celebrates the time honored craft of beer brewing during its annual BrewFest celebration held the third weekend of October from 12pm – 3:30pm. Learn about the time honored craft of beer brewing. Sample a selection of fine micro-brewed ale and participate in a series of RenFest games and activities.
Advance Discount Tickets: $21 for adults, $11 for kids ages 5-12; available at Harris Teeter Stores region wide. Tickets purchased at the gate are $1 more, or print your own online at RenFestInfo.com. Seniors ages 60 and over and Military personnel (with valid ID) enjoy discount tickets at the gate with adults at $19 and $9 for children ages 5 – 12. Children under 5 are always free. Parking is free courtesy of Harris Teeter.
Event Sponsors: Harris Teeter, Pepsi, & the Charlotte Observer. Additional sponsors include: Diamond Springs, Carolinas HealthCare System, Sunbelt Rentals, Valpak, Party City, Jersey Mike’s, Chick-Fil-A, Autobell Carwash, Qdoba Mexican Grill, AAA of the Carolinas, Visit Lake Norman, and Comfort Suites of Huntersville
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