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science sunny-goggles2Friends,

well, it’s been too long since we wrote, but the time has come to crank up the website again.  Beer Science is about to take some steps forward to include more news and events for all of you beer lovers out there.  We’ve got some surprises coming up, so stay tuned!

Foamfest 2011

A few pictures from the Colorado State Fair Beer Festival!

Foamfest 2011

You can see the contest results here:

Homebrew winners

Craft beer winners

A worthy lecture

Professor Charles Bamforth is one of the most respected beer authors and experts on the planet.  He has spent a lifetime researching brewing, and among a slew of other titles, is currently the “Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting & Brewing Sciences at the University of California, Davis”.  For those of us who are not lucky enough to enroll in the U.C. Davis brewing program at this time, there is an hour-long lecture from Bamforth available on Youtube.

As a featured speaker in the Authors@Google series, Bamforth dicusses some of the themes from his book “Grape vs. Grain,”  and gives a great talk on beer in general.  If you would like to hear an informative, entertaining and enthusiastic explanation of brewing, this is a great place to start:

Authors@Google: Charles Bamforth

It was a great night in Woodland Park for the inaugural Holiday Cheer Christmas Beer homebrew competition. The mood at Bierwerks was more than merry as brewers and beer lovers gathered to sample an array of holiday beers.

The competition was designed to invoke the spirit and flavors or Christmas, and the brewers delivered with 21 entries from as far away as Florida. Peppermint, cardamom, raisins, pineapple sage and a slew of other spices and ingredients made appearances, making it a difficult contest to judge. (Though cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves were the most popular.)

Here are your 2010 winners:

1st – Greg Geiger “Geiger’s Holiday Ale,” Highlands Ranch, CO.

2nd – Dan Rabin & Coby Royer “Old Smootchy Pants Holiday Ale,” Boulder CO.

3rd – Edd Wittenberg “Mr. Ginger’s Milkstout,” Colorado Springs, CO.

4th – Randy Walsh “Blue Spruce Christmas Ale,” Bellvue, CO

Congratulations to all.

Ho Ho Homebrewers!

Here’s a yuletide present for you – an American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned event for holiday beers. Sponsored by BierWerks Brewery in Woodland Park, CO, entries will be accepted for one category only – 21.B, (Spice, Herb and Vegetable) Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer.

This contest is open to all amatuer brewers. Two (2) bottles of your beer must be submitted along with the completed entry form and a $5 entry fee.

Deadline to enter is Dec. 7.

Bottles must be standardized to the current AHA competition requirements: 10-14 ounce bottles with no paper or inked labels or distinguishing marks on the bottle identifying the brewer. Each two (2) bottle entry must have identical labels attached with rubber bands and each entry must be accompanied by a completed recipe form.

Judging will be made in accordance with AHA and BJCP standards. Prizes will be awarded to the brewers of the top four beers. (Because it’s the holidays, and hey, we’re feeling generous.)

Submissions can be dropped off or mailed to the brewery between Dec. 2 and Dec. 7. Send entries to:

Holiday Homebrew Contest
c/o BierWerks Brewery
121 E. Midland Avenue
Woodland Park, CO 80863
719-686-8100

Bierwerks is located at the corner of U.S. Highway 24 (Midland Ave) and Fairview Street, across from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center.

If you are closer to the Denver area, entries are being accepted at The Brew Hut (Dry Dock Brewing) from Dec. 4-7.

The Brew Hut
15120 E. Hampden Ave.
Aurora, CO 80014
303-680-8898
800-730-9336

Beers will be judged Dec. 11, followed by a special brewers and drinkers holiday party at 5 p.m. at BierWerks.

For further information call 719-248-4866, or see the web site at www.grandturk.org/holiday .

Mike LaCroix is the head brewer at Amicas wood fired pizza and microbrews in Salida, Colo., a post he’s held since June 2002. LaCroix followed his love of beer around the country, wit h a resume including three years at Tommyknocker Brewing in Idaho Springs, Colo., two years at Golden City Brewing in Golden, Colo., and stops at Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co. in Tuscon, Ariz. and Lighthouse Brewery in Michigan.  You can read more about his beers on the Amica’s website here.

How did you find yourself here?

I grew up in northern New Hampshire. My dad was in the military, and we lived in Colorado Springs until I was seven, when we moved back to New Hampshire. I just has a real affinity for the area, and as soon as we moved there I was trying to figure out how to get back to Colorado.

How did you get started in brewing?

I guess it was while I was in culinary school in Portland. It was right when a lot of things were happening there with the different breweries; Bridgeport, Widmer, Full Sail were all just exploding. I ran into (brewer) John Harris at Full Sail and was just fascinated. I started talking to him about it and it was like a light went off. I got into it as soon as an opportunity became available, and that was Tommyknocker.

What keeps it interesting?

Just the industry as a whole – it is never predictable. Tastes and styles continue to evolve; I’m always finding new beers that are exciting and send my mind in different directions.

It’s great to have the opportunity to try things in a brewpub setting. I can experiment with new beers and even play a little bit with the old ones we’ve had on the menu for years.

Why do you feel Colorado has been such a successful market for brewpubs and craft brewers?

I think a lot of it has to do with the people who live here. People live here and move here for the quality of life. And for a lot of us, quality of life is quality of beer – that’s the biggest thing.

If you could let other brewers learn from your mistakes, what would you say?

Don’t assume you know it all. Try to be open to 100 ways of doing something. At the different breweries I worked at, I had a very linear way of thinking about how things should be done. I didn’t take advantage of the biggest resource out there – other brewers.

Don’t isolate yourself. Don’t stop trying other people’s beers, don’t stop talking to other people about beer. You can really learn a lot, quickly.

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Foam Fest 2010 poster

Click above to download a printable Foam Fest poster!

Pueblo, CO – The Colorado State Fair is seeking superior suds for the 2010 homebrew and craft brewing competitions.
The fair’s General Entry office is inviting home and craft brewers to compete in events at the exposition, which runs from Aug. 27 – Sept. 6 at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo.

The fair’s homebrew competition has grown to become one of the largest and most recognized in the mountain states region, with 331 entries last year.
The competition is sanctioned by the American Homebrewers Association, and features professional BJCP judges in 28 categories. Medals will be awarded for the top three places in each category, as well as awards for Best of Show and other special contests.

Winners will be honored at the 7th Annual Foam Fest Beer festival on Aug. 28, which features dozens of beers from the Centennial State’s finest craft breweries.

Submissions can be made from Aug. 9 to Aug. 14 , and can be delivered or mailed to the Colorado State Fairgrounds, or dropped off at designated sites in Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.

For more details, call 719-248-4468, see the website at www.coloradostatefair.com, or visit the fairgrounds at 1001 Beulah Avenue in Pueblo.