Melvin, MoreBeer! and The Brewing Network Team Up for The Boil Rumble

Melvin Brewing, 2017 Brewery Group of the Year at Great American Beer Festival, began as a dream almost ten years ago. Founder Jeremy Tofte put a 20-gallon homebrew system in the back of his Thai restaurant, and the rest is (sort of) history.

“In 2010, I sold my 1978 Mercedes and bought a MoreBeer! 20 gallon Brew Sculpture system and a couple fermenters. I started listening to Brewstrong episodes on The Brewing Network and it brought me back up to speed after a couple year hiatus from homebrewing. Within a year the 20-gallon became a 3-barrel system, and by 2016 we were making 60-barrel batches,” says Tofte. For those not familiar with brewing lingo, that’s an increase of around 60 times. “Both of these companies helped propel Melvin Brewing forward, so it’s really cool that we get to work with them now and stoke out the next wave of pro brewers.”

While scrolling through the American Homebrewers Association Forum, Tofte got nostalgic and the idea for The Boil Rumble began to take form. He reached out to MoreBeer! and The Brewing Network, who were mutually interested in hatching a plan.

“We have always been big fans of Melvin beer,” says Justin Crossley, founder of The Brewing Network. “Add to that the opportunity to work with the homebrew community that helped build our company, and we couldn’t wait to jump right in and have some fun on such a cool project.”

This brewing industry trio created a contest where homebrew clubs from across the nation would submit their favorite beer to MoreBeer! to be judged by a panel of professionals. Six beers would then be chosen, brewed with Melvin on their professional system, and distributed in cans to each club’s home state.

“We thought this would be one of the coolest parts of the contest because it allows us to celebrate multiple clubs across the nation,” says Crossley. “Finally, at the end of June we are going to pick one grand prize winner from the pack by judging the beers again during Homebrew Con in Providence, RI. This club will get their beer brewed and distributed nationally by Melvin, receive a MoreBeer! Brew Sculpture system to take home, give a live interview on The Brewing Network’s ‘Session’ podcast, and enter the Pro-Am Competition at the Great American Beer Festival. That’s some serious bragging rights for the champions!”

Tofte is dedicated to making the project a true collaboration. No additions or subtractions will be made to the winning recipes, regardless of cost. The final beer will be as close to the original as humanly possible. The brewery is hoping to teach the homebrew clubs a few things, while also maybe learning new techniques from the homebrewers. The students may well become the masters.

“Just as I went from homebrewer to pro brewer, hundreds of others are joining the ranks and making beers they want to make, and they are really good,” says Tofte. “I have seen several brewers with limited commercial experience come in hot and raise the bar industry wide.”

What does the future hold for the homebrewing community? Access to more efficient equipment and a wider variety of brewing ingredients continues, and individuals out there will no doubt continue to push the bar creating beer recipes.

“I’ve been reading about hop distillates and adding them to homebrew,” says Jose Lopez of Coachella Valley Homebrew Club. “I am always fascinated with learning new methods that will implore greater hop character while not sacrificing yield. I’m also fascinated with new yeast strains. We recently used Kveik yeast and Hothead yeast which can tolerate extreme heat, which is beneficial brewing here in the SoCal desert.”

Coachella Valley Homebrew Club is one of the six finalists for The Boil Rumble, along with Urban Knaves of Grain from Illinois, Eastbay Homebrew Club from Rhode Island, Morris Area Society of Homebrewers from New Jersey, Merrimack Valley Homebrew Club from Massachusetts, and Aurora City Brew Club from Colorado. Best in Show will be selected by a panel of judges regardless of style, and the winning recipe will be announced June 29th at the closing party of Homebrew Con in Providence, RI and then released in cans to all of Melvin Brewing’s distribution network, which currently includes 18 states.

“Most homebrewers dream of having a brewery, big distribution and all that,” says Chris Graham, president of MoreBeer! “This is a way to live the dream without everything else associated with opening a brewery. There’s no other contest out there like this!”

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