I’ve got Ballard Lesemann, our resident beer expert (seriously, I know lots of people who might think they’re beer experts, but Ballard’s certified), working on a story about an upcoming local brewers competition. Here’s an early report, in case you might be interested in entering.

Longtime local homebrewing club Lowcountry Libations — presided by Brent Brewer (yes, Brewer) — will host the Charles Town Homebrew Competition on Sat. March 7. Officially sanctioned by the Charleston American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), it’s the first “official” brewing contest to be held in Charleston. Like other sanctioned competitions around the country, this one will be conducted by the guidelines of the AHA’s official beer score sheet.

The competition is open to all homebrewers. Each entry must include two full bottles of homebrewed beer, submitted with a completed entry per each bottle . The forms are available online.

Although 12-ounce brown/amber bottles are preferred, other sizes and glass colors will be permitted. They require the brewer’s contact information, recipe information, and an indication of the category and subcategory the beer is to be judged. Each entrant will receive the judge’s score sheets. Prizes and ribbon will be awarded to the top scorers in each category.

In compliance with the AHA guideline, the main categories include Light Lager, Pilsner, European Amber Lager, Dark Lager, Bock, Light Hybrid Beer, Amber Hybrid Beer, English Pale Ale, Scottish and Irish Ale, American Ale, English Brown Ale, Porter, Stout, India Pale Ale (IPA), German Wheat and Rye Beer, Belgian and French Ale, Sour Ale, Belgian Strong Ale, Strong Ale, Fruit Beer, Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer, Smoke-flavored/Wood-aged Beer, and Specialty Beer.

All entries are due at Coast Brewing Company in Noisette (1250 2nd St. N., North Charleston, S.C. 29405) by Fri. Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. Lowcountry Libations will conduct the contest at a private venue (not open to the public) on Sat. March 7. —T. Ballard Lesemann

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