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$7043 for LLS: The 2022 The Dude’s Homebrew Competition is in the Books

Note: Due to a clerical error, we had the wrong total raised at the event. We accidentally included 2021 online ticket sales instead of 2022 online ticket sales, so as we were getting everything ready for LLS, we realized the total wasn’t $7,464 (as seen on the check from the event) but $7,043. Lesson: Never try to tally money after drinking lots of homebrew.

“Sometimes there’s an event — and I won’t say a hero, cause what’s a hero? — but sometimes there’s an event — and I’m talking about The Dude’s Homebrew Competition here — sometimes there’s an event that, well, it’s the event for its time and place. It fits right in there. And that’s The Dude’s Homebrew Competition, in Buffalo.” — The Stranger, The Big Lebowski.

The 8th annual The Dude’s Homebrew Competition is in the books, and what a fantastic day we had! Great beer, great company, great setting with great music, and all for a great cause. All told, we raised $7,043 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a new record!

We’ll get to the official results below, but there are many people to thank for this wonderful day, starting with our presenting sponsor, Resurgence Brewing Company. For eight years now, Resurgence has graciously hosted our event, first at their old Niagara Street brewery, then last year at the Chicago Street brewery, and again today at their new Resurgence at the Park in the Parkside Lodge at Delaware Park. Jeff Ware, Conner Bradbury, and the whole Resurgence team couldn’t possibly be more generous and accommodating, and we couldn’t possibly be more grateful. Thank you, Resurgence!

Next, we have the homebrewers who each year donate their time, talents, money, and hard work, all wrapped up into the creative, inspiring, and delicious beers they brew, to our event. Simply put, the event couldn’t go on without homebrewers donating full batches of their amazing creations to the event, and every year they prove that Buffalo’s homebrew scene is second to none. Special shoutouts go out to the Niagara Association of Homebrewers and Sultans of Swig for their support of this event. Thank you, homebrewers!

We also need to thank our judges panel, made up of leaders at the forefront of craft beer in western New York. This year’s panel, which featured Ethan Cox who you know from Community Beer Works, Karl Kolbe of Pressure Drop, and Nick Torgalski and Joe Mikos from Resurgence, was incredible. Being a brewer is often a 60+ hour a week job, so we can’t thank them enough for taking time out of their busy schedules to support and offer encouragement and feedback to their fellow brewers. Thanks, guys!

Of course, every event needs a great soundtrack and sound. And thanks to Russ Burton, we had that and then some. Russ has helped us often throughout the years, and his Lebowski-themed playlist added so much to the day’s enjoyment. Not to mention he’s just an all-around great guy. Thank you, Russ!

We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank our in-kind sponsors, Premier and Premier Gourmet. They provided our printed materials, helped us promote the event, and helped us with day-of-the-event logistics. Thank you, Premier Group!

There were many other individuals that made this event possible, including Meg Maxwell and Hunter Lane, who generously manned our registration table, and David and Tracey Gardon, who every year offer their tremendous raffle ticket salesmanship skills to our 50/50 raffle. Thank you, Meg, Hunter, David, and Tracey!

Finally, thanks to everyone that attended, donated, and voted in this year’s competition! An enormous thank you goes out to the anonymous benefactor how donated $3,400 to this year’s event — thank you so much!

The Results

Our 2022 competition featured 25 beers, and every one of them besides a terrible IPA that I helped make was fantastic! Some beers stood out, however.

The competition works like this. Our judges panel made up of brewers samples and scores all the beers, then chooses their three favorites for the Judges ‘Best in Show’ picks. Meanwhile, attendees that donate to the cause taste the beers and vote for their top three favorites. In the end, the winner is chosen by adding the average score from our judges’ panel to the vote tallies from attendees. Here’s how it all went:

Judges ‘Best in Show’ Selections:

  1. Pancho Billa’s Mafia Munich Helles (Brewer: Mark Zambron)
  2. Wicked Blizzard (Brewer: Mark Zambron)
  3. Not for Hire (Brewers: Stumblin Falls Homebrew Club)

Popular Vote Winners:
(3pts per 1st place vote, 2pts per 2nd place vote, 1pt per 3rd place vote)

  1. Jittery IPA (Brewers: Lori and Brian Meyer) – 57pts
  2. Razzin’ Hell (Brewer: Paul Callahan) – 38pts
  3. Berry Relaxing (Brewers: Jim Krell and Mike Spong) – 32pts

Overall Winners (combined Judges + Pop. Vote):

  1. Jittery IPA (Brewers: Lori and Brian Meyer) – 89pts
  2. Jenny’s DDH Cream Ale (Brewers: Jennifer Hare & Corey Dudish Hare) – 68pts
  3. Razzin’ Hell (Brewer: Paul Callahan) – 67.5pts

View the complete results from this year’s event

Thanks again to everyone that made this possible. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

The Dude’s Homebrew Competition: $3,180 for crushing cancer

The Dude's Homebrew Competition Photo Album
View Photos from the 2nd Annual The Dude’s Homebrew Competition on Facebook

The second annual The Dude’s Homebrew Competition is in the books, and we’re another $3,180 closer to a cure for cancer! Here’s what we learned on Saturday:

  • Homebrewers hate cancer.
  • Buffalo has an incredible wealth of talented homebrewers.
  • Our local breweries and brewers (and especially our amazing hosts at Resurgence) are fantastically generous.
  • Buffalonians have a passion for good (and new and inventive) beers.

All $3,180 raised at the event goes directly to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and their mission to cure blood cancers. It’s a cause that’s near and dear to our heart, and we’re so happy to add this to The Dude Hates Cancer’s total of over $500,000 raised since the campaign started in 2006.

There are many people to thank for the success of this event, and the list starts with two groups: a legion of talented, generous, and passionate homebrewers, and the unbelievably kind and generous management and staff at Resurgence Brewing Company. This event wouldn’t have been possible without their contributions, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their sacrifices for this cause.

We’d also like to thank the celebrity judges that came out to officially judge the entries in this year’s competition. Jeff Ware and Dave Collins of Resurgence, Alex Placito of Old First Ward Brewing, Ethan Cox of Community Beer Works, and Matt Kahn and Corey Catalano of Big Ditch Brewing Co. It’s a veritable pantheon of Buffalo brewers, and we’re so grateful for their time and consideration of the beers on hand.

We’d like to thank those that helped organize the event on our behalf. This includes the members of two great homebrew associations in Western New York: Niagara Association of Homebrewers and Sultans of Swig. It also includes Russ Burton, who provided all sound at the event, the amazing management at The Premier Group who provided logistical support including tables, printing, and other considerations, Ellen Notarius, who managed check-in and raffles, and Eric Sliwinski, who helped with setup.

And last, but not least, we’d like to thank everyone who came out in support of the event; tasting, donating, and picking their favorite beers. You love beer and hate cancer, and we couldn’t be happier about that.

Congratulations to our winners, Devin Carman, Brandon Kapral, and Alex Buckley, whose beer “Do You Like Pina Coladas?” won both the Peoples’ Choice vote and the overall top prize. For their efforts, they’ll get to brew a barrel of their beer at Resurgence! Also, congratulations to Mike Cooke and Dave Gruszka, whose beer “Facial Abuse” was selected Best in Show by our panel of judges.

Here are the complete results of our competition:

Overall Top 3

(Combination of Peoples’ Choice and Official Judge scoring)

  1. Do You Like Pina Coladas? – Devin Carman, Brandan Kapral, Alex Buckley (Specialty Beer)
  2. Facial Abuse – Mike Cooke, Dave Gruszka (India Pale Ale)
  3. The Treehorn – Kenny Winkelsas, Eric Tucker (India Pale Ale)

Official Judges – Best in Show Selections:

  1. Facial Abuse – Mike Cooke, Dave Gruszka (India Pale Ale)
  2. Irish Coffee Stout – Chris Johnson (Oatmeal Stout)
  3. Lil’ Ale Pale Ale – Nathan Brozyna (American Pale Ale)

*Honorable Mention – C4 Habanero Black IPA – John Claeys (Black IPA)

Peoples’ Choice Votes – Top 10 Vote Getters

  1. Do You Like Pina Coladas?136 Votes – Devin Carman, Brandan Kapral, Alex Buckley (Specialty Beer)
  2. Facial Abuse70 Votes – Mike Cooke, Dave Gruszka (India Pale Ale)
  3. The Treehorn52 Votes – Kenny Winkelsas, Eric Tucker (India Pale Ale)
  4. Irish Coffee Stout43 Votes – Chris Johnson (Oatmeal Stout)
  5. Monsta Double Double IPA35 Votes – John DePaolo (Imperial IPA)
  6. C4 Habanero Black IPA34 Votes – John Claeys (Black IPA)
  7. 88 MPH Doc Brown Ale31 Votes – Collin Corcoran (British Brown Ale)
  8. Honey Kolsch Red31 Votes – Raizin (Red Kolsch)
  9. Hippsterpotamus (a.k.a. Summer Socks)29 Votes – Drew Hardin (American Pale Ale)
  10. Nine Toes Amber Ale23 Votes – Dan Potts (American Amber Ale)