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The Homebrew Challenge Grand Champion Beer and the Brewer Who Created It

Totally Local VC, host of the 2022 Homebrew Challenge competition held at the 4th annual Taste of Local Festival, announces the Grand Champion winning brew.

by Totally Local VC
2022 Homebrew Challenge winner

The 2022 Homebrew Challenge competition was held at the 4th annual Taste of Local Festival, hosted by field-to-fork experts Totally Local VC and the Ventura Independent Beer Enthusiasts (VIBE). The Homebrew Challenge provided a great opportunity for local home brewers to show off their creations while attendees learned about the process of making beer, talked directly with the brewers, and sampled the brews.

The best of our local home brewers compete

Homebrew Challenge sign 2

Eight local home brewers gathered to compete for the title of Taste of Local’s Homebrew Grand Champion at this year’s Taste of Local Festival. It was a fun-filled competition with each of the contestants presenting their unique take on what they believe is the best local home-brewed beer.

Over 400 festival attendees sampled the brews and cast their votes for their favorite. Professional Judges, a panel of local media experts and California Homebrew Association board members, also sampled the competitors’ entries and cast their votes. The Professional Judges totals were tallied and combined with the People’s Choice totals to determine the Grand Champion award winner.
Homebrew Challenge Gong

And the winner is…

The 2022 Homebrew Challenge Grand Champion award was presented to Don White for his creation, Paige’s Chocolate Porter with Toasted Coconut. Don’s unique brew was a hit with not only the Pro Judges but attendees of the event as well. Don told us that his award-winning brew was named after one of his daughters. In fact, he names all of his beers after family members or his dogs!

The Taste of Local Homebrew Challenge was such fun event and great way to showcase home brewing. I was happy to compete with my fellow VIBE members and area brewers at the event and will be back next year,

Don White, Homebrew Challenge Grand Champion

Don White, Homebrew Challenge Grand Champion, creator of the award-winning brew, Paige’s Chocolate Porter with Toasted Coconut.

Meet Don White

Our newly crowned Grand Champion

Don White started homebrewing over twenty years ago, working to perfect his brewing technique. Along the way, he got input and advice from the brew crew at Poseidon Brewing in Ventura, which helped him tremendously.

After Don lost everything in the Thomas Fire, Seaward Brewing owner Jason Henrey helped him to replace his brewing equipment and encouraged him to start brewing again. Jason also suggested that Don start all-grain brewing, a process where the brewer creates their own wort from malt. Malt refers to barley seed that is sprouted and dried and/or roasted. Wort is a brewing term that essentially means unfermented beer.

Don was invited to a VIBE meeting and joined shortly thereafter. He felt that being able to share experiences with fellow brewers provided a great opportunity to not only learn more about the brewing process but to share his passion with like-minded members. 

Don White 1
Don White 2

The Taste of Local Homebrew Challenge was such fun event and great way to showcase home brewing. I was happy to compete with my fellow VIBE members and area brewers at the event and will be back next year,

Don White, Homebrew Challenge Grand Champion

About the Taste of Local Festival

The Taste of Local Festival is about bringing together our local farmers, chefs, purveyors, wine makers and breweries with our community to celebrate our local harvest and the diversity of great food we have right here in Ventura County. Over 60 area chefs, farmers, purveyors, wineries, breweries, and distilleries showcase their culinary expertise. For more information, go to https://totallylocalvc.com/taste-of-local-festival.

About Ventura Independent Beer Enthusiasts (VIBE)

Ventura Independent Beer Enthusiasts (VIBE) was founded in 2007 by a like-minded group of people dedicated to craft beer appreciation and fermentation. Its members make all types of fermented beverages and foods, along with serving them at club meetings, not-for-profit events, and competitions. To find out more, go to https://www.vibebeer.com/join/.

Image credits: Viktor Budnik, John Foronda, Mariah Green, and Kat Merrick

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