1 of 2
Photos courtesy of Classic Events
Uncorked on the Green
Visitors sample beers at the Master of the Brew competition.
2 of 2
Photo courtesy of Classic Events
Uncorked on the Green
Visitors sample homebrews at the Uncorked on the Green Master of the Brew competition.
Craig Pinkerton has been a homebrewer for about five years, and he has brewed his pumpkin ale at his Hoover home for the last three.
This year, his pumpkin ale brought in more than praise from friends and family. It also brought in a $100 cash prize from the Uncorked on the Green Master of the Brew competition at Ross Bridge on Oct. 10.
“I was pleased,” Pinkerton said about winning. “I was happy with the beer I submitted, and I was very happy that the judges thought it was a good beer also.”
Pinkerton said he’s got a standard recipe for his pumpkin ale and has made slight tweaks throughout the years.
“It’s a pretty seasonal beer, it seemed to go well with the time, and it’s also been a popular beer among friends and family,” he said.
Judges said the beer was “just what you are looking for in a pumpkin beer, with notes of pumpkin spice and cinnamon and nutmeg.”
While he has participated in other homebrewing competitions, Pinkerton said Uncorked’s competition was different in how it allowed for public feedback and crowd interaction. He wasn’t able to attend the public sampling event, but he said that was a nice touch for a competition.
“I think that the key thing for me is just I didn’t get to participate in the giving out samples. For a homebrewer, that’s a great opportunity, and just to be able to get feedback from people who aren’t just family and friends,” Pinkerton said. “You’re getting the chance to showcase a hobby that you’re pretty proud of.”
While other competitions are focused on the technical aspects of homebrewing and beer, Pinkerton said the added commercial aspect of this one was a nice touch. Because the winner’s beer will be brewed at Avondale Brewing Co., Pinkerton said it was important to look at what beer people would want to try.
Pinkerton’s beer came in behind a Black Saturday beer, brewed by Warrior resident James Glass. The Black Saturday beer included cherry and dark malts and will be brewed this winter at Avondale.
The winning beers were tasted by a panel that included beer connoisseurs from AlaBev, Hop City, Avondale and Birmingham Beer author Carla Jean Whitley. Judging was based on aroma, appearance, flavor, mouth feel, seasonality and overall impression.
“The first annual Master of the Brew was a huge success,” said AlaBev President Harry Kampakis. “All of the entries were top-tier homebrews, making it a tough call for the judges.”
Along with the Master of the Brew title, Glass also won a fermenter, Hop City gift card, $250 in cash and a gift certificate from Avondale.
Pinkerton said he hopes the Master of the Brew will grow in the next few years so he can continue to compete.
“I think it’s a great opportunity, and I think they do some neat things,” Pinkerton said.