Drink beer, butt heads
Homebrews compete for title at H.H. Hinder
By James Card
On Saturday, April 22, the afternoon weather brought sleet, curtains of rain and a brief blizzard of snow. It was a good day to drink some beer.
H.H. Hinder hosted the second annual Head Butt Homebrew Competition. The foul weather was only a nuisance. They had a huge white circus tent set up next to the brewery that was loaded with propane patio heaters cranked to full blast.
They had 70 beers entered in the competition from 36 home brewers from across Wisconsin. The brews were evaluated by five certified beer judges.
The winning brew would have the opportunity to be made in H.H. Hinder’s state-of-the-art brewing system and have their beer added to their tap list.
During this event, they had last year’s best of show on tap: HeadButt 22: Otters Unite, a barley wine created by Kyle Sikora.
The Waupaca Lions Club served brats, burgers and pork sundaes throughout the afternoon which helped leaven the nonstop imbibing.
Judging sessions were held in the afternoon and people could sample brews and vote for a People’s Choice Award.
There was some downtime between 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. while the judges tabulated which beers would make it to the final tasting round. Steve Keeley and his band took the stage and played everything from the BoDeans to Springsteen.
At the end of the set, the band cleared their gear as tables and chairs were set up for the judges. Serving trays loaded with small tasting glasses were set before each judge, along with pens and paper for taking notes.
“Welcome to the 2023 Head Butt Competition. Now gentleman, the idea here is you will vocalize your thoughts in the microphones. We have eight beers. We’ve had a lot of wonderful great beers here today whether you are in the final or not. I didn’t have a bad one all day so congrats to you guys,” said Jake Bowden of H.H. Hinder.
The judges introduced themselves. One was David Oldenburg, a nationally ranked beer judge and he brews at H.H. Hinder.
“So I’m the one who has to recreate whichever one wins here, so I’m a little nervous – that’s OK,” Oldenburg said.
The Best of Show was won by Todd Woelfle and co-brewer Mary Woelfle with their Sedimentary Rock Brown Ale.
Beers were also awarded first, second and third places in the categories of British ales, golden ales and lagers, porters and stouts, Belgian ale and weizen, hazy IPA, clear IPA, and amber ales and lagers.