Monday, May 2, 2011

Brew-off and “Beer Luck”: What More Could You Ask For?

by Nicole Tichenor

As a devoted beer drinker, I can safely say that yesterday’s Brew off and Beer Luck was my favorite SFT event of the year. A lot of other people probably agree, because those two rooms full of homebrewed beer were packed with people (over 100 members of the Tufts graduate community attended!) Here’s how the night went: everyone brought a glass, and we were able to choose 6 -7 beers of the 19 (!) to try, just to make sure everyone got enough tastes. Meanwhile, there was an esteemed panel of judges tasting each beer and scoring them. From Cambridge Brewing Company we had Will Meyers, Brewmaster and Megan Parisi, Head Brewer. The other judges were Dave Lytton, who works at the Modern Homebrew Emporium and James Nicholson, who runs Mystic Brewery.

The homebrewers were from several schools at Tufts: the medical, dental, urban and environmental policy and planning program, Fletcher school, and nutrition schools. The diversity of backgrounds matched the diversity of beers entered in the competition – everything from Black Saison and India Pale Ales to American Style Black Ale. It was really interesting to hear the brewers (fellow students) describe their beers like seasoned professionals. One of the pairs of brewers told me that their Oatmeal Stout was made with a real bowl of oatmeal with all the fixins in it. It’s my new favorite breakfast!

At the end of the night, the winners were announced. The students picked Kristin Irvin and Greg Saia’s Pale Ale as the 2nd place winner and gave the gold to Melissa Page’s “Vitamin Apri-Hop.” The judges’ pick was the Gluten Free Pale Ale brewed by Friedman student Alyssa Koomas. The judges also picked favorites in the different beer categories. For Classic Styles, 2nd place went to Sam Barber’s IBU-tiful, and 1st went to Scott Recksiedler for his California Common lager. Scott also took 2nd place in the specialty category for his Pumpkin Ale, which was like fall in a glass. 1st place specialty beer went to Alyssa’s Gluten Free Pale Ale. For darks/lagers, 1st place went to Kate Abowd Johnson, who brewed a powerful wood-aged beer, called Bourbon Trail Stout. 2nd place in that category went to Sarah Kasten’s American Style Black Ale, which was one of my favorites of the night.

Many thanks to our judges, donors, brewers and participants. Thanks also to our sponsors who donated wonderful prizes: Modern Homebrew Emporium, Redbones BBQ in Davis Square, Christopher's Restaurant, Cambridge Common, Mystic Brewery, and Cambridge Brewing Co.

We’re looking forward to Brew-off 2012 already!

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