TRI COUNTY BREWING CEREAL COMPETITION CHAMPION
Cereal…it’s not just for breakfast anymore!
Members of the Brew Jersey, Ocean County Home Brewers Association and Monmouth County Home Brewers Association members set out to prove just that with their first joint competition.
Final judging was recently held at Icarus Brewing and congratulations to Dorien Saunders of Brew Jersey who took home the top prize! Dorien brewed a Cream Ale with the special ingredient being Pumpkin Spice Life cereal. Dorien will not only have his beer brewed at Icarus, but the brewery will also donate $300 to the charity of his choice.
Vince Feminella, MCHBA and I have collaborated on a couple of competitions in the past, so when we got together with Eric Schmel from Brew Jersey we discussed several options for a friendly competition between the 3 clubs. Urged on by our EPIC 2 part South Jersey Beer Scene (episode 13 and 14) podcast we put out a message to our club members for suggestions. SMaSH (single mash, single hop), or everyone using the same grain bill, were a few of them, but then the breakfast cereal suggestion came from one of our members, (I won’t say who, but I KNOW who it is and I have the proof, hahah!) and it clicked!
We committed to our clubs that we would use BJCP guidelines for the judging and the only stipulation would be that the brewer would have to declare a style and 10% of the grain bill would have to be commercial cereal. Matching the style to the cereal was key, as the effect and taste of the cereal in the beer was 20% of the total judges score.
“The flavor of the cereal in the beer, really came through on the winning brew.” said Icarus owner and co-founder Jason Goldstein. “
The competition didn’t lack for creativity or style, as we had stouts, porters, brown ales, IPAs, Wheat beers, Hefeweizen all in the mix. Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Shredded Wheat, were some of the cereals, as much variety as there are on the supermarket shelves.
“I hadn’t been in the cereal game since middle school, so I didn’t even know that these different types of cereals were even made. “said our champ, Dorien. “I walked down the cereal aisle and nothing jumped out at me. I was originally thinking some sort of chocolate cereal, but as I continued shopping I saw the Pumpkin Spice Life and knew I had to make the switch.”
Dorien’s beer had a 38.75 average score amongst our judges who included, Jason, Matt and Mike from Bradley Brew Project and Mike from NJCB.
Tony Scardaville, MCHBA, came in second with a score of 35.25 for his Brown Ale made with Honey Bunches of Oats and Chris Niedzwiecki, OCHBA, was just a shade behind at 35.00 with an American Porter brewed with Cocoa Krispies.
Vince, Eric and I had a great time planning and organizing the event, so we look forward to doing more competitions, collaborations and work in the future. Thanks to the judges and all the rest of the brewers who participated we hope you had a good time!
Be on the lookout for Dorien’s beer in the tap room at Icarus. We will make sure to keep you posted on the progress and release date.
Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for our next story, Weird Beers. Cheers, all!