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The 2022 Grafton Brewing Competition received more than 50 entries this year. Image: Emma Pritchard

Beer-holding the best

Emma Pritchard


Entrants in the 2022 Grafton Brewing Competition are hop-timistic of brewing success this year.

With more than 50 entries across a variety of classes including pale lager, American pale ale, porter, stout, Belgian ale, and sour ale, some of the best home brewers in the Clarence Valley bottled their skills and talent alongside competitors from across the state.

As the judging commenced on April 30, the first bottles and cans were cracked open, and the amber liquid flowed freely as a small and appreciative crowd of volunteers participated in an afternoon of taste testing.

Judge Matt Wilson from Seven Mile Brewing Company in Ballina said a good beer is judged by its appearance, aroma, taste and mouth fill.

“Typically, you’re wanting something that marries well together,” he said.

“Clean fermentation is the biggest thing.

“You want a beer that’s well balanced and follows the stringent guidelines.”

Fellow judge Kim Geritz, a brand ambassador for the Townsend based Sanctus Brewery agreed.

“You’re judging to guidelines and you’re really looking for technical data that leads the beer to where it is in your hand,” she said.

“We’re grading to a specific style and score.”

While the judges each tried and scored different classes in the 2022 Grafton Brewing Competition, they agreed the Imperial stout and German wheat ales were standouts this year.

“It is good to see so many entries this year,” Ms Geritz said.

“This is also my first time as a judge.

“It’s been great to come here and appreciate what other people can produce out of their homebrew kits.”