Nelle Bilcliffe may be new to brewing beer, but she won top honors at the South Canterbury Home Brew Competition.

The Waimate-based Bilcliffe took home three awards – a champion beer, a gold medal and also the best brewer – for their Mama Beer at the annual Oxtoberfest event hosted by the Oxford Restaurant Bar and Brassiere on the weekends. -end.

“This is my first time and I am delighted (to have won the award),” Bilcliffe said of the event which drew 31 entries.

“My husband has been brewing for eight years and he also won a few bronze medals this year.

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“I thought it was rude to drink all of his beers for the past 8 years (laughs) and wanted to learn how to make some of my own beer and brew it just for competition.”

Bilcliffe said the name, Mama Beer, only played with words.

“I’m a young brewer and have two teenage children and the name was a bit of a play on words.

The Bilcliffes, Gareth, left and Janelle, enjoy brewing beers at home and have won multiple awards at the Oxtoberfest South Canterbury Home Brew competition.

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The Bilcliffes, Gareth, left and Janelle, enjoy brewing beers at home and have won multiple awards at the Oxtoberfest South Canterbury Home Brew competition.

“It took me about six hours to prepare for the season and the ingredients used were grains, water, hops and yeast. “

The Bilcliffe’s have listed seven beers, with Nelle’s two entrees ending at either end of the prices.

“While Mama Beer won the contest, they (the judges) didn’t like each other, Day of the Dead.

“It was a colorful Mexican beer, and it was bluish green in color from the butterfly flowers, but it should have been pale yellow.

“So it was a manual beer and the other a creative beer.”

Nelle Bilcliffe uses a variety of ingredients to prepare beer mash, including grains, water and yeast.

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Nelle Bilcliffe uses a variety of ingredients to prepare beer mash, including grains, water and yeast.

She’s more of a manual brewer, compared to her husband who is more of a creative brewer, experimenting with ingredients, with the couple growing their own hops on their lifestyle block in Makikihi.

“The recipe for Mama beer was from Malthouse in Dunedin, and they have some amazing recipes,” Bilcliffe said.

Judges Zane Marshall of DB, Hadley Rich of Ship Hop, Michael Doran of Oxford and Felicity Bruce seduced us with Mama Beer, saying it had an excellent aroma, good carbonation and a good head, nice notes. grainy, great mouthfeel and a perfect finish and all returned for more.

Bilcliffe grows his own hops on his lifestyle block in Hook, Waimate.

JOHN BISSET / Stuff

Bilcliffe grows his own hops on his lifestyle block in Hook, Waimate.

Bilcliffe also revealed that she was on the verge of not having any beer to come in as a power cut threatened the brewing process.

“Almost, I had no beer at all for the event.

“It was fermenting and there was no electricity for about 8 hours on October 10, and the fermenters had to be kept warm… I had to use blankets to keep it warm.”

She said that while her husband’s taste aligns more with porter beers and dark beers, he liked her beer which was more of a girls’ summer beer with an aroma.

“He thought my beer would do just fine, and he was right.”

Champion home brewer Nelle Bilcliffe can't wait to keep brewing.

valentina bellomo / stuff

Champion home brewer Nelle Bilcliffe can’t wait to keep brewing.

Clarissa Doran, co-owner of The Oxford, was delighted that many newbies to home brewing had won awards.

“It was a great night and some alumni have done better this year and few haven’t, but it was good to see a lot of first-time entries winning,” said Doran.

“Each registered beer receives comments from the judges on their beers, which is unique to our competition. The brewers really appreciated this because it gives them something to work on or shows them what they are doing well.

The trio of Andrew Darling, James McCarthy and Matt Anderson won silver medals for their Riwoka Shocker Indian Lager Beer and Night Warrior Porter Beer..

Bronze medals were won by smoke lager and Belgian triple from Joe McKenzie, Knockout Blonde and red ale Fred from Gareth Bilcliffe, season from Scott Russell and American pale ale Waihi Wild Hop from Kristen Stevens.

James McCarthy and Andrew Darling won two silver medals for their house beers at Oxtoberfest on Saturday.  (File photo).

JOHN BISSET / Stuff

James McCarthy and Andrew Darling won two silver medals for their house beers at Oxtoberfest on Saturday. (File photo).


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