Sydney Beer Week has announced its inaugural Pro-Am Beer competition, which gives finalist homebrewers the chance to collaborate with commercial breweries and showcase beers at the Australian Heritage Beer Festival.

Peter Anstey, Sydney Beer Week’s Managing Director, hopes that the event will engage a broader range of people with craft beer.

“Sydney Beer Week is about bringing as many aspects of the beer industry together as we possibly can. Historically, beer has interacted with so many different demographics and different social occasions,” he said.

The competition is separated into two sections, with a homebrew section and pro-am section. For the first section, commercial breweries have sponsored a range of beer categories and styles, and homebrewers are invited to submit a beer in one of these styles, which will be judged by the NSW Amateur Home Brewers Association.

The winners of each style will collaboratively produce their beer alongside the sponsoring commercial brewery for the pro-am section, and these collaborations will be judged during Sydney Beer Week at Hotel Sweeney’s. In addition, the finalist beers will be served at The Australian Heritage Beer Festival.

The competition presents an important opportunity, both for homebrewers and the commercial brewing industry, as well as building connections between the two.

“If we look back 10 or 15 years ago, a lot of today’s commercial brewers had their start in homebrewing, and now they’ve had years of experience with commercial brewing. I really want to get that relationship going between breweries and those brewing at home, and get some more education going,” Anstey said.

Anstey hopes to see the event draw in more homebrewers, and excite those who have been brewing for a long time.

“Once you start homebrewing, and as you start to experiment, your palate expands and you try more styles, and I hope we can foster that interest with the younger demographic. Historically people learnt about beer when they attended the festivals and we want to bring that back,” he said.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for homebrewers who have been brewing for a long time to do something different, to scale their beer up to a commercial level, and to see that beer on tap at a craft beer venue, Hotel Sweeny’s, and at the Aussie Heritage Beer Festival.”

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