The Growler has long been known as the place to stop in for a craft beer fix. Now, GM Krisi Allen and Bar Manager Ben Stroud are making it the place to showcase your home-brewed beer. On August 13, The Growler will host its first annual North Mississippi Home Brewers’ Competition.
“Part of our mission was to bring people into the craft beer fold,” said Allen. “To us, a big component of that is home brewing. A lot of people get into craft beer because they start brewing themselves and see that there are a lot of good options out there.”
Being completely new to home brew competitions, Allen and Stroud researched “not just regional, but also national,” competitions to see what others were doing and how they could make it work for them.
“There was one on the gulf coast just a couple weeks ago and it was their first one,” said Allen. “It was fun seeing what they did and how many entrees they had. Theirs was an all day thing, where as ours will be a few hours longs.”
Now that The Growler is registered with the Home Brewers Association, the competition is sanctioned and will have official judges from the HBA.
“We’re really excited to have a great selection of judges,” said Stroud. “A lot of the professional brewers from around the state have agreed to come in and judge.”
So far the competition features a mixture of seasoned home brewers and fresh faces to the craft beer scene. Currently just over 30 brewers are registered for the competition and plan to bring a fairly wide selection of styles that will be on display as well.
“We’ve had about 10 different styles entered,” said Stroud.
Each brew that is entered will be grouped into five categories: IPA, Pale Ale, Wheat, Porter/Stout, and Miscellaneous.
“Each Category will have a best of award,” said Allen. “We’re also going to have a crowd favorite award and likely a best in show award”
The judging will be held inside The Growler with “the furniture removed and tables lining the walls for brewers to use,” while those with tasting passes can socialize in the breezeway where they have outdoor seating.
“Given how temperature can affect tasting, we want to keep as much of it inside as possible,” said Allen.
The Home Brew Competition will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of America. All registration fees will be donated to the charity as well as all proceeds from a raffle that will be held the day of.
The choice for which charity to donate to came down to benefiting locally, while also being a name that is recognized regionally.
“We wanted to donate to a cause and decided on Boys and Girls Club of America,” said Allen. “It’s a charity that is active in our area but also if you’re from Gulf Port you know where your money is going.
The deadline for submitting your own home-brewed beer is two weeks before the competition, July 31. Tasting passes will also be available closer to the event for those who wish to try out what the local brewers have in store.