From hobby to home brew champion

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A railway worker has been crowned Sheffield’s best home brewer after winning a brewery championship which was held for the first time.

John Kendall scooped the honour after the inaugural competition was developed by Stancill Brewery, who offered entrants the chanc to spend time with head brewer Dean Pleasant to transform their carefully crafted creation into a beer which will be available on the bars of pubs across the city.

Hosted at the Horse and Jockey pub, Wadsley, the final saw six city home brewers battle it out for the title of Sheffield’s best home brewer, with judges scoring the beers on flavour profile, body, suitability for brewing and the passion of the brewer.

John’s beer, called the Dark One, is described as an ‘unusual, strong black IPA which combines dark chocolate and liquorice flavours, giving the impression of a typical stout or porter, which gives way to a balanced hoppy finish leaving an aftertaste of grapefruit and lychee.’

The 32 year old, who lives in Walkley, transformed his garden shed into a small brewery after being given a home brew kit as a gift.

Since then, he progressed into brewing using whole grain and hops, which is typically used by commercial breweries.

John said:“I’ve always been interested in craft beers, but good beer is never cheap and cheap beer is never good, so after being given the home brew kit I began experimenting with brewing at home.

“ I spent quite a bit of time researching different ingredients in my quest to create my perfect beer, giving friends and family the chance to try my creations.

“The Dark One was the second beer I ever created and my wife encouraged me to enter the competition after seeing how much my friends and family loved the beer.”

As part of his prize, John will spend time in the brewery refining the beer and after being produced, he will pull the first pint when the beer goes on sale later this summer.

“Seeing my beer chosen as the winner is an incredible honour and one beyond my wildest dreams”, he added.

I’m really looking forward to spending time in the brewery and finding out how the process differs to the small kit I use in my shed. 2

“My wife and I also welcomed our first child in June, so winning the competition is a double celebration for me.”