The Black Rock Homebrew Competition

This year we are privileged to have Black Rock on board as sponsors of the sixth Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival Homebrew Competition, in association with The Dunedin Malt House! In this competition keen homebrewers battle for the chance to brew the next year’s ‘Festival Brew’ on commercial brewing equipment with the guidance of a veteran brewer.

This is a great opportunity for upcoming brewers to have their creations tasted, and feedback given by our panel of talented judges who are hand picked from the cream of the crop of Dunedin’s commercial craft brewers and beer aficionados. Previous overall winners have included a Raspberry Wheat Beer, a Bourbon Oaked Porter and a kettle soured Gose with many other brilliant brews and some obvious brewing talent coming through in the competition. In 2018 the Festival Brew is Session RIS, a Russian Imperial Stout produced by last year’s winner Harvey Kane!

There is also a great prize pool for 2nd and 3rd place, as well as varietal category winners, supplied by the Dunedin Malt House.

Entries are now closed for the 2018 competition. If you have any questions regarding the competition, please send us a message through the contact form.

Happy brewing!

Thanks to our sponsors:

Black Rock Home Brewing

200 Rattray Street, Dunedin
Phone: 0800 835 554  Facebook: @blackrockbrewingnz

The Dunedin Malt House

596 Hillside Road, Caversham, Dunedin
Phone: 03 456 0297  Web:

The 2017 Competition Results

1st place overall – Harvey Kane: Session RIS

2nd place overall – Stephen Harris: Tootie Fruitie

3rd place overall – Douglas Williams: Winter Roasted Porter

Harvey Kane’s overall winning entry, Session RIS, a ‘small’ Russian Imperial Stout took out the Stout/Porter category and had been bottle aged for 15 months. It was described by the judges as a well balanced and silky drop with a nice roast and sherry, dark fruit and Christmas cake aromas. You’ll have the chance to sample the nice and smooth delight for yourself at this years festival, as Harvey has won the chance to brew it on commercial brewing equipment as the Festival Brew for 2018 Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival!

Stephen Harris gained overall 2nd with Tootie Fruitie, an American Pale Ale with in your face grapefruit/lime/citrus hops weighed out with biscuit malt balance.

Winter Roasted Porter, created by Douglas Williams placed overall 3rd for his deep, dark and malty American Porter.

Harvey Kane
2016 Homebrew Competition Winner Saul Ross

The 2016 Competition Results

1st place overall – Saul Ross and John Creighton: Saul’s Milk Stout

2nd place overall – Ben Owen: Little Red Riding Hop

3rd place overall – Jamie McQuillan: Saison Framboise

Saul Ross’s winning entry, the sweet, dark and moreish ‘Saul’s Milk Stout’ was described by the judges as a world class example of its style. You will get the chance to sample this stunning stout as Saul has won the chance to brew it on commercial brewing equipment as the Festival Brew for the 2017 Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival.

In second place, Ben Owen created ‘Little Red Riding Hop’, a Red IPA with nice red malt base and a good kiwi hop kick aftertaste.

Jamie McQuillan came in third place with his delicious Raspberry Saison, ‘Saison Framboise’.

The 2015 Competition Results

1st place overall – Max Major: Wild Gose Chase

2nd place overall – Adrian Woodhouse: Spiced Pumpkin Ale

3rd place overall – Brett Houliston: Darker Than Pale

Max Major’s winning entry, aptly named ‘Wild Gose Chase’ is a near perfect example of a kettle soured Gose. Max utilised Pink Himalayan Salt and Coriander seeds to add some zing, along with Lactobacillus to sour the brew, and managed to create a very well balanced and interesting beer which has won him the chance to brew it on commercial brewing equipment as the Festival Brew for 2016’s Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival.

In second place, Adrian Woodhouse created a rich and smooth Spiced Pumpkin Ale reminiscent of a slice of delicious pumpkin pie.

After winning the competition in 2014 with his Bourbon Oaked Porter, Brett Houliston came in third place in 2015 with his Black IPA called ‘Darker than Pale’.

Max Major (right) with Emerson's Head Brewer Mason Pratt (left)
Brett Houliston (left) won 1st place overall and Brendan Bransgrove (right) took out 2nd and 3rd place

The 2014 Competition Results

1st place overall – Brett Houliston: Bourbon Oaked Porter

2nd place overall – Brendan Bransgrove: Ulysses Flanders Red Sour Ale

3rd place overall – Brendan Bransgrove: Little Jimmy American Stout

Brett’s winning beer is a Bourbon Oaked Porter – A robust and flavoursome Porter which has been aged on charred oak bourbon barrel chips for 2 months. It has hints of vanilla and oak, while a slight smokiness lingers on the palate. Rich and inviting.

Brendan’s Ulysses Flanders Red Sour Ale is a world class example of the style, aged in Oak barrels for around a year! Strong oak flavours and aromas blend with delicate malts and a sour twist.

These top 2 brews came to a tie-breaker situation in the final round of tasting, both having scored near perfect scores, rivalling internationally acclaimed brews in their respective styles. The final decision was difficult, but after the third round of tasting, the judges settled on Brett’s Bourbon Oaked Porter.