Walk on the Wild Side
A Walk on the Wild Side is homebrew competition organized by members of Special Hoperations that is dedicated solely to sours and Brettanomyces beers (meads and ciders too).
The competition will combine BJCP and WBC styles by their country of origin. Categories will include Florida Weisse, Belgian, German and American-style sours.
2 bottles are required for entry, from 12 oz to 750mL, and can include Grolsch swing-top, corked and caged, and waxed caps.
For more information, visit the Walk on the Wild Side page.
AHA Big Brew Day
May 3 is the American Homebrewer’s AssociationNational Homebrew Day. It’s an annual event that unites all brewers in a day to share the craft they love.
Special Hops has been invited to participate in two Big Brew events. Southern Brewing in Tampa and the Brewer’s Tasting Room in St. Petersburg are both hosting brewers.
Southern Brewing has enough space for a couple brewers from each club. They’ll provide water electricity and a 10% discount on any ingredients purchased that day. If you’re interested in brewing, contact Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brewer’s Tasting Room has space for up to 15 brewers. They also will provide water and electricity. If you would like a spot, contact Brian email@example.com.
In either location, even if you’re not brewing, come on out and support those that are. It’s a fun time and you may pick up some tips to improve your own process at home.
Meet the Brewer:
How long have you been brewing?
I started brewing extract beers in the spring of 2010. Switched over to brewing all-grain in June 2011.
What inspired you to start brewing?
It wasn’t so much what inspired me as it was who inspired me. My good friend Kenny, a home brewer himself, convinced me to give it a shot. At the time I didn’t think the words “good” and “homebrew” should ever be used in the same sentence. Fortunately, all it took was one batch. The first beer I brewed with Kenny, a Hefe-Weissen, turned out pretty good. I was a convert!
My first experience with all-grain was about a year later during the Big Brew Day of 2011 where I assisted Rodney with a batch of Rocket Rodney’s Porter. I was hooked! I now realized that not only could homebrewed beer be good, it could be really good. So I’d have to say, Kenny and Rodney created (inspired) this monster.
What is your brewing setup?
I guess I’d say it’s a semi-single tiered system. I have four stainless steel kettles, 2x 15 gallon and 2x 10 gallon. I set up in my garage using a folding table and Blichmann burner. Sometimes the kettles are on the table, sometimes they’re on the floor, you’ll have to come by and see it for yourself.
Your favorite style beer style to make?
I really like IPAs. Specifically, American IPAs. Also, I really like funky beers and beers with little be of peppery spice in them, like a peppery stout.
The biggest “win” moment as a home brewer?
I’d have to say taking a chance on brewing a beer style that I had never even heard of one month prior to. Once I tasted my first Flanders Red Ale I knew I had to brew one. Tons of research, a little luck and lots of agonizing time waiting for the beer to finish. The first sip of that beer was my biggest win moment.
What was your biggest brewing disaster?
I’m a little OCD, so disasters rarely occur. Once had to put my entire arm into my fermenting bucket, post pitching the yeast, to pull out that little black O-ring that seals the release valve thing. I called that beer India Pale Al. Turned out pretty good, too! I did get a rash from all the PBW and star san I used to sanitize my arm prior to sticking it into the fermenter. And I had a boil over once.
Your favorite commercial beer right now?
My favorite beer is the one in my hand. Right now that would be Rapp Brewing’s Gose. I picked up a growler last weekend.
Special Hops IPA Intraclub
There were nearly 20 entries in last month’s IPA intraclub competition. The winners are well deserved!
- Gold: Justin Schoonover
- Silver: Michael LeVan
- Bronze: Chris Goller
- Honorable Mention: Allan Myers
Gold, Strong Ale
Silver, Specialty Cider/Perry
Gold, Coconut Beer
Bronze, English Brown Ale