For some it isn’t just enough to love a good beer, we have to brew it too. Of course we love trying all the different beers out there and visiting breweries and thoroughly enjoying getting to have our favorites once again, but sometimes the beers call to you just a little bit more and you decide to start brewing them yourself. And, once you do that a logical next step would be to find a good, local club to join and be a part of, to celebrate all that is homebrew. The Star City Brewers Guild has been just that for those in the Roanoke Valley area for over 20 years now. One of the fun perks of being part of a brewers guild, is getting to compete in homebrew competitions. Usually these are held solely within the Guild (the Star City Brewers Guild holds quarterly competitions for members every year), but occasionally something neat happens, as is the case for here. Three Notch’d Roanoke already does a lot of frequent collaborations with places such as Parkway Brewing, Wasena City Taphouse, River & Rail, and even non-profits - in fact, according to head brewer Sam Sadovnic, 50% or more of what he’s brewing on their 3 ½ barrel system is collaboration brews. The idea for this particular collaboration comes from the ever-turning mind of Rick Hood, the Virginia Market Manager for Three Notch’d after a chat with Dave Griffith of Barrel Chest Wine And Beer. “They’ve got the party the day before Microfestivus but last year we weren’t open yet. I thought it would be fun to do a special beer” for Microfestivus said Hood. After discussing things with the distributors and trying to find something that timed well with the popular downtown Roanoke festival, he said “alright, let’s do a separate event and engage the homebrewers and then we can have our own party and do it two days before the event!” That led him to get in touch with Allen Francis from the Guild and, after exchanging emails, the duo was able to sit down and hatch out a plan. “It made sense” to do something with the Guild, said Sadovnic, “because y’all are really involved with Microfestivus and you’re a really good homebrew community here in town.” It was decided that the competition would be open to all styles of IPAs, while at the same time being solely IPAs. In all, there were 13 entries. “We got a lot of really good ones and we ended up having to nit-pick super hard in the judging. There were a lot of really good beers that could’ve done really well, so we had to narrow it down.” In the end it came down to Rudy Lyon taking 1st place with his New England IPA, Quick Chowdah. Justin & I took second place with our Strawberry Milkshake IPA, She Wolf (come on Beerfest fans out there, you know this one), and Allen Francis took home 3rd with his New England Session IPA, Gushi Stuff. As part of his prize Rudy’s beer was brewed today at Three Notch’d and will be on tap in time for Microfestivus. In fact, it will be their special release for “First Tap Thursdays” on August 8th at 6pm.