Michigan is full of many great breweries. Everyone has their favorite, their go-to, hometown hangout. Along with the rise of the breweries have been the rise of home brewing. So, how about adding some friendly competition in the home brewing space. That is where the Home Brew League, or HBL, comes in. 32, 6 person brew teams split into 4 divisions that functions very similar to a professional sports league, especially in the sense of many finely tuned athletes.
Each month, 2 teams compete head-to-head brewing the same style of beer and having their beer judged by strict BCBJ guidelines. To save you some time, that is the Beer Judge Certification Program. Ingredients and styles come into play to keep all of the teams brewing the same style of beer. After the judging,scores are added up and one team comes away with a W and the other takes the L. Sounds fun, right?
We will be the first to admit, we are not master brewers. Using the word brewer is even a stretch. That is why we are the rookies and we have a strong group at the front leading the team. Lifting kettles, pouring grains, stirring, taking Snapchat stories, these are the areas that we excel.
The first beer needs to be ready in May, so that led to a Friday night brew session with Captain Bill. For those of you who have never been around a home brewing process, it can look like quite the event. Burners to heat water, grains, hops, many home modified coolers, kettles, and creativity. It was a big night for the team as we brewed a British Golden Ale in two, 5-gallon batches and had a lot of team camaraderie.
Tuesday night was the official kickoff for the HBL held at Rockford Brewing. We were there scoping out our competition. It seemed very similar to what we would expect the first day of a CrossFit competition to be like, really trying to get a feel for who we will be up against.
Beer 1 is in process. Game 1 has started. We are going for the win. You cant win them all if you don't win the first one. By the way...did we mention this thing goes until January, it is no joke!
Follow us throughout the journey. We will be on Snapchat at mi_playground documenting the behind the scenes action of team 3rd Stall Brewing. Make sure to check the standings and cheer us on.
The mi playground team