Local breweries are battling it out to see who’s tops in hops. Black Press file photo

Beer taste-off to determine the best brew in the Comox Valley

Contest will also raise funds to support Dawn to Dawn organization

Some local breweries are battling it out to see who is tops in hops.

The organizers actually started with a pizza battle a few weeks back. Now, the Comox Valley Tastes Good pizza battle folks are holding a contest among local breweries, which have offered kegs for the charity event. It runs Sundays from Aug. 23 on for five or six weeks.

As with so many “events” these days, with pandemic restrictions, it’s not really an open public gathering for the masses.

“You just can’t really do that right now,” says Comox Valley Tastes Good organizer Phill Fuller.

Instead, the judges will gather on the patio on Roy’s Towne Pub on Sundays to see how local brews measure up in a number of categories. The brews won’t be identified to make sure none of the judges is biased for or against a particular beer-maker.

“The beer one is what I’m calling a ‘Blind Beer Battle,’” says Fuller. “This way there’s no bias, and it’s kind of fun as well.”

There’s a philanthropic flavour to the contest too, courtesy of the organizers and Rotary, and this is where the public can get a taste of the competition. They can purchase a growler during the week and take the beer home. With the local brewers donating beers for the judges, the proceeds from the rest of the beer sold over the week will go to support Dawn to Dawn – Action on Homelessness Society.

Several breweries in the area will provide beer in a different category each Sunday, starting with pilsner-type beers. Subsequent rounds will feature pale ales, IPAs and perhaps fruit beers or other ales, says Fuller.

“I’m getting a different type of beer from the local breweries each week,” he says.

The pizza playoff battle recently wound down. That contest worked a little differently, with judges gathering – again outdoors – to taste a slice of several local pizza places.

“It just started with me being a hungry guy on a diet wanting some pizza,” Fuller says.

In this case, the judges knew whose slices they were eating, and the organizers had ordered pizzas on their own. The finals came down to Beaver Convenience and Roy’s Towne Pub.

“It actually came down to a tie,” says Fuller. “And I broke the tie.”

In that case, Roy’s Towne Pub owner Charlie Aiken found out about the pizza battle and offered to host the beer contest.

“He’s got a back patio where we can spread the judges out, so it’s sort of socially distanced,” Fuller adds.

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If you want to know the pizza playoff results, you can watch the short recap video on the Comox Valley Tastes Good Facebook page. Fuller adds they might consider contests for other guilty pleasures like chicken wings or chocolate chip cookies.


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