The DC Homebrew Shop at 3 Stars Brewing Company, Matt "Heff" Heffernan, DC's Boulevard Brewing Company rep, and Josh "JP" Perry of the DC Homebrewers and DCBeer contributor have been cooking up a homebrew competition, and the details are now hashed out enough to share with you all. Boulevard's head brewer, Jeremy Danner, will team up with 3 Stars Brewing Company's Mike McGarvey to brew a special wort. This wort will be given away to homebrewers so that they can create something different from what was given to them. Here are more details, from a press release:
We are proud to announce that 3 Stars Brewing Co. in conjunction with guest Brewer Jeremy Danner of Boulevard Brewing Co., and the DCHomebrewers Club, would like to celebrate the adventurous spirit of homebrewing by putting on a competition.   In honor of the small batch art form that inspired 3 Stars founders, Mike McGarvey and Dave Coleman, to brew their first batches of beer together, on Saturday October 25th, we will brew a 10 bbl. batch of beer with no intention of fermenting it ourselves.

Instead, we’ll open our doors and share this wort with local homebrewers—all we’ll ask is they bring a finished product back and let us give it a try. We’ll then choose our favorite wort transformation recipe and invite the winner to come back and brew it again—but this time on our system.*

Homebrewers who register early enough—the quantity of wort is extremely limited—will be assigned a time on Saturday the 26th  to stop by the brewery and fill one 5-gallon vessel from our wort tank. Brewers, brewery staff, and DC Homebrew shop employees will be on hand to say hello and answer questions, pour you a sample in the tasting room, and give you a discount on all Homebrew Shop purchases.

Wort will be extremely limited, and so you must register by following the details below—please note: submitting your information here does not guarantee we will be able to provide you wort this year. Registration cannot be completed in person or over the phone.

Contest Rules:

1)      You must use all of the 3 Stars wort given to you to create your beer.

2)     Be creative! We encourage a wide range of beers, such as English browns, saisons, IPAs, fruit beers, a kolsch, some smoked beers, all sorts of stuff. Please refer to the judging categories below.

3)     SIX 12oz. bottles of finished beer from the 3 Stars wort should be dropped off to the DC Homebrew (during shop hours) by Friday, December 20th in ready to drink condition; carbonated and chilled to proper temp.


Registration must be completed by 12pm on Monday, October 21st by emailing Matthew

Subject Line should read: “Wort Giveaway” and include the following:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone Number

Registered homebrewers will receive an email by 5pm on Wednesday, October 23rd, giving you either a “Yes, please come pick up your wort”, or “Shucks, sorry, but we don’t have any wort left” message.

Pick Up:

Wort recipients will be scheduled to a specific pick-up window on Saturday, October 26th. Pick-up times will be assigned at random and must be honored. Due to the volume of participants, times assigned cannot be altered.

Wort recipients are required to bring with them a cleaned-and-sanitized 5-gallon fermentation vessel with a lid. Call the DC Homebrew Shop to check the availability of FV’s in stock, if you do not have an empty vessel.


The categories that will be used for judging are:

1.) Malty or Sweet Beers: Beers for which a malty or sweet flavor is the dominant or co-dominant flavor. (Scottish ales, milk stouts, beers with lots of crystal malt)

2A.) Bitter or Hoppy Beers: Beers for which hop bitterness, flavor or aroma is the dominant or co-dominant characteristic. The impression of the hop character is more important than the IBU rating of the beer, but we expect most beers in this category to rate under 60 IBUs. (American pale ales, IPAs)

2B.) Hop Monsters: Bitter or hoppy beers brewed such that only a hop head could love them. Beers in this category will be judged primarily on the quality of the hop characteristics in the beer as other aspects of the beer may be partially or totally obscured. Although the impression of hop character is more important than the IBU rating of the beer, beers should probably have over 60 IBUs to be entered in this category.

3A.) Session Beers: Beers that exhibit a pleasing balance of beer flavors and aromas and are refreshing and "drinkable." Session beers -"beers to have when you're having more than one" – belong in the category. (

3B.) Lawnmower Beers: There are session beers and then there are "it's 100 ºF in the shade and I've been mowing the lawn and want something refreshing"-type session beers. Got a real thirst-quencher? Enter it in this category.

4A.) Strong Beers: Beers for which alcoholic strength is the dominant or co-dominant characteristic. Beers within the category are judged on overall presentation (appearance, aroma and flavor), not by alcoholic content. In other words, the strongest beer will not necessarily be the winner. The strong beer category is for beers around 6-8% ABV. (Wee Heavies, Doppelbock, IPA)

4B.) Big and Boozy: Beers that are not just strong, but positively boozy (at least 8% ABV). As in the strong beer category, the strongest beer will not necessarily be the winner. (Barleywines, Imperial Stouts)

5A.) Dark Beers: Beers for which dark malt characteristics are the dominant or co-dominant characteristic. Beers in this category are dark colored beers with a small to moderate dark grain character, but without a lot of roast or burnt malt character. (Brown Ales, Bocks, Brown Porters)

5B.) Roasty Beers: Dark beers brewed with sufficient amounts of very dark malts (roasted barley, black patent malt) to give a roasty (or perhaps even burnt) edge to them. (Robust Porters, Stouts)

6.) Yeasty/Sour Beers: Beers for which fermentation characteristics, other than the usual characteristics of ale and lager yeasts, are a major contributor to the beer's character – i.e. the "funky" beers. These include beers with a banana, clove, bubblegum, horse, barnyard, hay, acidic elements, such as Bavarian Weissbiers, Berliner Weisse, Flanders Red/Brown, Gueuze, Lambic, or Belgian-style ales with phenolic or other characteristics derived from the use of "special" yeast or bacteria strains.**

7.) Lagers: Beers brewed with lager yeast. (Lager beers may be entered in other categories, as appropriate.)Your confirmation email will contain the competition form that needs to be filled out for your submission. Each bottle must have a form attached by rubber band. This must be clearly marked with name, email, phone number, and accompanied by a brief description outlining the brewer’s goal, ingredients and processes used.

Winning entry will be contacted to discuss future brewing plans.

If you have additional questions, please direct them via email to:

*Winners will need to be willing to flex with their recipe if need be, in case they used something that was too expensive, impossible to source in the needed volume, too weird, or illegal.

**Bacterias such as brettanomyces, pediococcus, or lactobacillus used in the brewing process will not prevent an entrant from winning, but may not be used in the final product if selected as the winner. This is at the brewery’s discretion.