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Monday, June 17, 2013

Meet Mike Carr, Brewer of Siciliano's Best in Show for 2013

Mike Carr, 2013 Best in Show Winner
By Steve Siciliano

When Mike Carr was notified that he won Best in Show in the 2013 Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition for his American IPA he was sure there had been a mistake.

“I honestly thought someone had entered a wrong email address,” he said. “I have entered many competitions over the last five years and while I have done fairly well, my ratio of beers entered to medals won has not been great.”

While he has been homebrewing for about ten years, Carr said the quality of his beers began improving about five years ago after he joined the Cass River Homebrew Club and began judging and entering competitions. He brews five gallon batches about twice a month on a custom-made HERMS system that is a “constant work in progress.”

Carr enjoys brewing a wide range of styles. “I keep telling myself that I’m going to choose two or three styles and brew them over and over again to gain consistency but it never happens,” he said. “I keep looking at the 100 plus styles and sub-styles and I can’t help but try something new.”

Carr said the formulation of his winning recipe was the result of a mini competition among himself and two fellow brewers. They individually brewed a session IPA using the same ingredients and then each entered their respective beers in the Siciliano’s competition. “We came up with a very simple grain bill and then had some fun picking the hops. I wanted to use amarillo and citra but one of the other brewers suggested that we use simcoe. I’m glad he did as the simcoes are the key to the hop flavor and profile.”

Carr lives with his wife and two children in Port Huron, Michigan and works as a project manager for the federal government in the construction of roads, bridges and “the occasional building.” His extensive travel allows him to visit breweries across the country and sample a wide range of craft beers.

“Trying to balance work and family makes finding time to brew quite challenging,” he said. “I have begun brewing after the kids have gone to bed and often I don’t finish until 4 a.m. But who needs a full night’s sleep anyway?”

Congratulations to Mike Carr and a big thank you to all all homebrewers who entered Siciliano's homebrew competition in 2013.

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