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Beer brewing competition growing at NC State Fair

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Blue ribbons have been awarded to pies, cakes and even wine at the North Carolina State Fair and for a second year the prize is being award to beer.

Last year there were 180 entries in the beer competition at the fair. This year there were more than 390 entries.

The competition is split between commercial and home brewers.

"We are up against the best beers in the state and North Carolina is one of the biggest beer states in the country," said Jon Connolly, head brewer at Carolina Brewery.

Connolly and the rest of Carolina Brewery won "Best in Show" for its Flagship India Pale Ale.

Chris Creech of Durham took home the "Best is Show" for home brew this year, a Sprechen Deutsch Sour Ale. He's been brewing for five years and continues to brew because he enjoys doing it.

"If you do it because you love cooking, experimenting, its fun, it's easy to do." said Creech.

If you're looking to try brewing beer yourself, Creech says it's easy to get started. It will cost your about $100 to buy the basic equipment and ingredients for your first batch of beer.

"It takes a couple of hours on brew day, to clean everything, mash the grain, make the beer, then a couple of weeks to ferment, a couple of weeks to carbonate," said Creech. "About a month later, you'll have a finished product."

All of the winning beers will be on display in the Education building at the N.C. State Fair.

RELATED LINKS:

Complete List of 2013 Winners

Beer Judge Certification Program

What do you need to start brewing at home

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