For two years running, Highland Brewing Company has sponsered a homebrewing competition where the winner gets to have his own brew made and sold by Highland. Last years winner was Aaron Schenk, a local homebrewer whose winning recipe was a Cream Ale. This years winner is also a local, and is familiar to many in the homebrewing scene here in Asheville. Alex Buerckholtz, owner of Hops and Vines a beer/wine/homebrew shop in West Asheville won this year's competition with his Big Butte Smoked Porter. Alex has been brewing beer for years, and this is not the first time he has had accolades for his beer. In 2006, he was a finalist for the Samuel Adams Long Shot homebrewing competition, and while he didn't win, he did get to attend the Great American Beer Festival courtesy of Sam Adams. This year, he gets to see his beer entered into the Great American Beer Festival in the Pro/Am category for his smoked porter. We wish him luck.
You can get a chance to try the beer and meet Alex this Tuesday (September 8th), when Hops and Vines will debut the beer with a special tasting that runs from 5 to 7 pm. They are also raffling off a pair of Brewgrass tickets for those folks who weren't able to get them when they went on sale back in spring.