SOME entrants in the 2016 Grafton Show homebrewing section will be a giving the judges a solid workout - literally.

In a first for the competition the organisers have introduced a beer food section to widen the interest in the competition.

The chief steward of the competition, Matt Chapman, said there will be three sections for cooks to show their prowess: a section for fermented foods, like the classic German dish sauerkraut, bretzels (large pretzels) and a general beer snack section.

"The third category is really broad and we're really throwing it open to see what people come up with," he said.

"We're always looking to add new things to the competition and attract people who might not be interested in just brewing.

"There's also a lot of interest in pairing beers and foods.

"Hopefully this is the start of something we can build on over the years."

Mr Chapman said the guidelines are fairly simple.

"Basically we'll take anything that doesn't require it to be refrigerated," he said.

Mr Chapman said the competition will continue with its two-tiered structure.

"The Grafton Brewing Competition has been sanctioned by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) for the first time this year," he said.

"But it has also retained the traditional beer classes making it a competition that is suitable for all brewers regardless of whether they are experienced or still have their training wheels on."

He said the changes introduced to the competition reflect a growing interest in home brewing.

"In recent years, the competition has been attracting entries from not only local brewers, but also those as far away as Tasmania and Brisbane," he said.

"The amateur brewing community is full of people that are interested in sharing what they know, as well as learning new procedures and techniques, and they are only too happy to participate in brewing events wherever they are."

Entries for the competition close on April 1, giving brewers the bare minimum of time to get their beers conditioning in the bottle for judging on April 9.



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