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Home brews return for annual competition at Magnolia Blues

The search is on for the best beer brewers in Brookhaven.

Magnolia Blues will host its third annual home-brewed beer competition June 24.

“We’ve had people from Pensacola, Florida and Mandeville, Louisiana, come up for the weekend for this event,” Carl Craig, owner of Magnolia Blues, said. “It has gotten bigger every year.”

Craig said only three brewers competed in their inaugural year, but a dozen signed up for last year’s contest. So far, nine brewers are on the roster to compete.

“We still have a few days to sign up, so we are hoping to add a few more,” he said.

There are two categories in the contest — the Judges’ Competition and the People’s Choice.

The Judges’ Championship is decided by a select panel of beer experts, such as Lisa and Pat Miller, who are the owners of Natchez Brewing Co.

“Each brewer will submit one beer to the judges, then they will go sit in the back and score the beer on a scale from 0 to 5. The judges will tally up the scores and the highest score wins,” Craig said.

The People’s Choice is picked by ticketholders at the event who sample the entries and cast a vote for a favorite.

Beer must be brewed with home-brewing equipment. No commercial brewing in allowed. Participants must be at least 21.

Bill Perkins, of Brookhaven, won the People’s Choice competition last year. Mark Van Norman was selected as the Judges’ Choice winner.

Brewers may enter one beer only in each competition but may bring as many beers as they would like ticketholders to sample.

“It’s real simple, a laid back deal,” Craig said. “It’s something to do and for us, we’re trying to be into craft beer and small-batch bourbons. We’re trying to grow a craft beer culture in Brookhaven. We’re trying to do something different, something that hasn’t been done in Brookhaven.”

Craig said the event brings beer enthusiasts out to sample home-brewed beverages and ask questions of brewers.

“My favorite thing is meeting all of the new brewers and seeing how enthusiastic they are about it,” Craig said.

The event is free and open to the public age 21 and older. The competition will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Live music will begin at 8 p.m.

Last year, over 200 people attended the competition.

For more information, call Magnolia Blues at 601-990-2366.