Q&A with home brewer and judge at Big Beers festival in Breckenridge | VailDaily.com

Q&A with home brewer and judge at Big Beers festival in Breckenridge

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Robert Hall has been homebrewing wing for 26 years and judging beer for 23 years.

Robert Hall is a homebrewer who will be entering several beers in next week's Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival homebrewing competition held in Breckenridge. The Laramie, Wyoming, resident has been crafting his technique for decades and will also be one of the judges at the homebrew competition, judging styles in different categories from the ones in which he's entered.

VAIL DAILY: What type of beer are you entering in the competition? Have you entered this competition before?

ROBERT HALL: Several Belgian styles including a Belgian Tripel, Belgian Single, Belgian Strong Dark. Double IPA also. I have entered this competition for seven years previously with varying success. This is a difficult competition to win a medal.

VD: How long have you been a homebrewer?

HALL: I have been brewing for 26 years and judging beer for 23 years.

VD: What first got you into the activity?

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HALL: Friends in college were brewing, it looked like fun and we made beer that we liked better than what we could buy.

VD: What is the most challenging aspect of homebrewing?

HALL: Translating an idea in my head of how I want a beer to taste into a recipe and a process. I want my favorite beers to be the ones that I brew.

VD: What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

HALL: Buy a book, buy good ingredients, keep equipment really clean and use simple recipes. Get advice on your beer and brewing and drink lots of different types of beer.

If you go …

What: Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival.

When: Thursday, Jan. 5, through Saturday, Jan. 7.

Where: Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, 620 Village Road, Breckenridge.

Cost: Commercial Tasting tickets are $75, and reserved seminar seating is $15.

More information: Visit bigbeersfestival.com.