Winner Profile: A short biography of the winning brewer, frequently including tips on homebrewing.

Caleb Meinke
2021 Midwest Homebrewer of the Year
Midwest Homebrewer of the Year Winner Photo

A little more than five and a half years ago, a lifelong friend of mine, Ray, won a homebrewing kit at a beer festival. After he encouraged me, several times, to give it a try because he thought I would enjoy it. I reluctantly agreed... and learned a process that would become the single greatest outlet for my artistic and scientific halves of my brain. With the support of my amazing wife, Marcie, we've developed a schedule where I can still brew three to four times a month after juggling work and getting plenty of family time in each week. I feel very fortunate for her understanding and encouragement in all of it. I'm a lucky man!

For me, each brew becomes an exercise in consistent focus on process and quality. Some people have accused me of being a perfectionist in this regard; I tell them, "I'm not a perfectionist. I'm just in pursuit of something better." To my mind, there is always work to be done, which helped me refine my go-to beers, namely session beers and lagers. A few years back, I began entering homebrewing competitions to get anonymous feedback and continue the progression of these beers. Since, I've been recognized as the Homebrewer of the Year in Madison, Wisconsin two years running and won a gold medal at the National Homebrew Competition for the American Wheat beer inspired by my wonderful daughter, Willow. More recently, I also received the opportunity to enter a limited partnership agreement with a brewery local to me, Sunshine Brewing Company, which affords me the opportunity to brew on a larger scale once a month heading into 2022. Capping off 2021 with the honor of being named the Midwest Homebrewer of the Year is truly the highlight of an amazing brewing year!

I fully intend to continue tinkering on my three-tier gravity fed system, exploring new styles and techniques along the journey. The brewing process is incredible, and I feel incredibly grateful my friend pushed me to give it a try half a decade ago. My life wouldn't be the same without it. Beer... the existential enhancer, and a gift!

Cheers to all the fellow homebrewers out there! Happy brewing in 2022!

Farmhouse Brewing Supply
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