Last weekend marked the culmination of the first annual Hoppy Cup home brew competition in Hong Kong. Co-organized by HK Brewcraft, the HK Beer Judge Certification Program (HKBJCP), and the HK Homebrewers Association (HKHA), the idea came from the need for more opportunities for local home brewers to brew to style and receive feedback from qualified judges. This is only the second competition in Hong Kong that is recognised by the BJCP, which allows local judges to earn recognised experience points for the competition.
The Hoppy Cup was well-received for its first edition, with over 50 entries from three countries, spread out over five different categories: Standard IPA, Session IPA, Double IPA, Juicy & Crushable, and Anything Hoppy. Obviously this competition had a more narrow focus compared to the annual competition which allows beers from nearly all categories recognised by the BJCP. The most popular category entered this year was Normal IPA with 22. entries and Anything Hoppy with 16.
While the entries came in from multiple countries, so did the judges with 12 from Hong Kong, two from Shanghai, one from Taiwan, and one from Korea. The idea was to benefit local judges by pairing them with more experienced judges from overseas that have seen more competitions, and tasted home brew of a higher quality.
The judging took place on Saturday, December 1st at HK Brewcraft. Judges were paired up and assigned flights of 6-8 beers in a given category. They spent about 15 minutes tasting each entry and providing written feedback. There is a brief consultation between the two judges after each entry where comments are shared before arriving at an agreement for the consensus score. Due to the popularity of the Normal IPA and Anything Hoppy categories, each pair selected up to three beers from their flight to submit to the Mini "Best of Show" round. A new grouping of three judges then taste these beers to select one beer to move on to the "Best of Show" amongst all of the categories.
Second Draft in Tai Hang generously opened its doors on Sunday, December 2nd for the Hoppy Cup Ceremony which featured a People's Choice vote, five collaboration brews from local home brewers on tap, as well as the announcement of the awards for the competition. The collaboration brews included: Belgian IPA (Warren Yu & Justin Jackson), Red IPA (Carman Law & Alex Payne), Farmhouse IPA (Warren Yu), Bitter Not Better (Edward Li), and Ching Fa IPA from Stephen Ngai and Yannick So.
The award-winners were as follows:
Standard IPA: 黄轶 - Single Malt
Session IPA - No winner
Double IPA - No winner
Juicy & Crushable - 范金 - Hazy Dream
Anything Hoppy - Tim Chiu - Taunted (Black IPA)
People's Choice - Edward Li - Win Hard Again No IBU Real Juice (NE IPA)
Hat's off to HK Brewcraft, HKBJCP, and the HKHA for their contributions to organising this brewing competition. We're already looking forward to the next one!