It's been a few months since we first started a unique homebrewing competition called Brewed, Reviewed, & Debuted with Bent River Brewing Company. Being new to the home brew scene I wasn't sure how this would turn out. I did know one thing, though, that the prize for this competition matched nothing that had ever been done before.

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Thirty-two brewers entered the first round of the competition last year at Bent River Brewing, with those brewers bringing multiple beers to show off their brewing techniques. People then voted for their favorite brewers and the two finalists were chosen. Those two finalists would go head-to-head after working with the brewers at Bent River Brewing to create a brand-new beer exclusively for the finals.

The winning beer would then be voted on and the favorite beer chosen would be brewed, bottled and sold on a large scale by Bent River Brewing Company everywhere their beers are sold.

The teams of Shannon & Brian Olsson and Cory Randolph & Colin Warner were the two teams selected to go head-to-head in a final competition which was held at the brewery this past Saturday. 

Shannon and Brian, both from Waterloo, IA brought a stout inspired by French Toast called “The Breakfast Klub” and Cory and Colin, from the Quad Cities, brought a stout that was an Americanized spin on a German Dunkelweizen as chocolate easy drinking wheat beer named “Slam Dunkelweizen.”

Hundreds of people showed up to sample the beers and vote on their favorite. In the end it was the team of Cory and Colin who took home the top honors from the brewery.

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"It's surreal right now. Brian and Shannon did a great job. We wish more things like this would happen cause it's a great experience to be able to have Bent River open its doors and have us come in. It's a humbling experience," Cory Randolph said.

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Colin added, "One of the great things about craft beer is that it's more collaborative than it is competitive, so you have a lot of great people coming together to make good beer."

"What Glenn and Bent River Brewing are doing here is amazing in showcasing that you don't have to be a professional brewery to make a good beer." Cory finished, "It's not doing something in your uncle's bath tub."

Following the competition Brian Olsson said, "Bent River put on a great event. I'd do this again in a heartbeat. This is the first time that something like this has ever been done. The people we brewed against are awesome people, and I look forward to entering again next year."

Cory and Colin's beer, Slam Dunkelweizen, will soon be on the shelves for you to sample for yourself.

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I look forward to seeing how this event turns out next year. With a prize like this I'd expect to see more brewers entering this event and it getting so much bigger.