Mecca Grade to Host Homebrew Competition & Harvest Party

Mecca Grade Estate near Madras, OR. Photo by Aaron Brussat

On September 28, Central Oregon’s Mecca Grade Estate Malt will host a homebrew competition called Brewing Man Origins. The farm and maltings north of Madras is asking homebrewers to submit beers brewed with native and “local” ingredients (local being, for example, the Pacific Northwest), along with a short essay about the beer. The judging will take place on the morning of Mecca Grade’s harvest party and customer appreciation day.

Brewing Man is Mecca Grade’s effort to provide experiences that line up with its goal of recognizing and promoting local flavors and terroir in beer. The concept was originally a Burning Man-esque affair, but has shifted in scope. “We decided to make Brewing Man an all year experience instead of just a weekend event,” says Katie Ralls, Relationship Manager for Mecca Grade. “Throughout the year we will be hosting different events and workshops that keep in mind the Brewing Man theme of: natural methods of brewing, indigenous ingredients and how to use your own terroir to make truly unique beers.”

The beer categories for Brewing Man Origins are tailored to the concept, though most styles could technically fit if brewed using local, native, or homegrown ingredients. Brewers are asked to submit 64 ounces for judging; entry cost is $12 per, with all proceeds going to Heifer International. These are the categories:

  • Best Wild Beer (using spontaneous fermentation or sour/wild cultures)
  • Best Session Beer (5% ABV or less – the perfect beer for your next summer camping trip)
  • Best Central Beer (5.1 – 8.4% ABV – Staple beers brewed with any number of native ingredients)
  • Best Fresh-Hopped Beer (the harvest window will be just right for some pretty awesome freshness)
  • Best Big Beer (8.5% ABV and above – barrel-aged beers would be fantastic, but remember, these are being judged in late September, so you’ll have to get on it)
  • Best Mead or Cider (using locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, and honey)

Entrants are also welcome to attend the harvest party. “It will be a free catered dinner and social time with a bottle share from the Origin Beer Competition Entries. There is no cost for attending the party and there will also be a shuttle [from Madras]. We do however ask that if you are going to attend to RSVP on the Brewing Man website so we can have a head count for meal planning purposes.”

Entry registration and brewing guidelines info can be found here. Harvest Party RSVP here.

Aaron Brussat
Aaron Brussat

Aaron Brussat is a complex living organism with an interest in all things fermented. He started writing about and working in the beer industry in 2010. His experience stems primarily from spending six years at The Bier Stein as a beer steward, homebrewing since 2005, and passing the BJCP and Certified Cicerone exams. Highlights along the way include numerous collaborations with local brewers, curating beer dinners at The Bier Stein, and traveling to Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Peru, and New Zealand (as well as many parts of the U.S.) for a chance to drink beer at the source.