2010 Abita Pro-Am Homebrewing Competition

November 15, 2010 12:00 AM


Abita hosted its first Pro-Am Homebrewing Competition this past weekend and the Brasseurs a la Maison had entered 4 beers into the competition. Both Dale and I entered 2 beers a piece. Joe was supposed to enter his Rye IPA but due to a kegerator malfunction he was not able to bottle his beers in time for the entry deadline. Dale entered his Devil’s Brown Ale, named such due to its IBU rating of 66.6; and his newly created Oyster Imperial Stout, brewed with 10 oz of fresh Louisiana oysters and brine. I entered my India Wit Ale, an English IPA brewed with wheat and traditional Belgian Wit spices; and a Café au Lait Stout, a milk stout with 3 oz of Community New Orleans Blend coffee. 

Abita was hosting everyone that entered the competition at the brewery this past Saturday and enticed people with an open bar and free food. The party started at 1130 and the Brasseurs group showed up at about noon. Abita had its typical draft lineup as well as two casked beers. They had their SOS as well as a Bourbon Turbodog (which was fantastic) on self-serve casks. Lots of cheeses with beer pairings but the main course was onsite BBQ. Football was on the big screens and the weather was phenomenal so everything was set for a great day. One of the brewers gave a tour of their facility and if you have been on a tour at Abita you know that their tour is nothing spectacular but this was an exception. Since we were all special guests, most familiar with the brewing process, the tour was of the entire facility, not just their brew kettle and fermentation tanks. The tour went into the bright tank room, bottling line, and store room. Very informative and interesting, especially compared to normal. 

The tour was cut slightly short because they started to announce the winners of the contest. The opening presentation was a short one, highlighting Abita’s ties with the homebrewing community. The anticipation was cut short though by the announcement of the winner first, which I thought was weird. First place earned not only the Andy Award (named after the homebrewer who penned the AndyGator recipe) and bragging rights but a chance to brew his beer at the brewery as one of the Select offerings.  Second and Third place won brewing equipment, which turned out to be a grain mill. Out of a sampling of 59 entries 3 brewers placed. (We have yet to receive our feedback so we do not know where our other beers ranked but I will update that when available.)

               1st Place, Andy Award Winner – Kerry Dale Yoes – Imperial Oyster Stout – Brasseurs a la Maison

               2nd Place – Berliner Weisse – Some guy from Rayville I think, he wasn’t in attendance

               3rd Place – Charlie Milan – Baltic Porter – Red Stick Brewmasters

The shock on Dale’s face was pretty funny. He knew his beer was good but not sure if he expected to win. We all questioned whether he knew that he had won, especially since they had announced the winner first instead of going from 3rd to 1st. He received a big blue ribbon and lots of congrats from all in attendance. 

After the presentation had finished boxes of homebrew were brought out from the back and a free-for-all commenced. There were few labels on the beers so it really was a blind tasting at this point. Some beers were fantastic, others not so much. There were some interesting beers, most notably a chili beer made with jalapenos and Serrano chilies which burned all the way down. Everyone but Dale nursed their wounds in more beer. Luckily for us, especially for Dale, Courtney was driving home. Dale felt obligated that when talking to Andy (creator of AndyGator) to drink AndyGator. All in all a great time was had for all. And although I did not win, I am happy with my beers, but more importantly the win put our club on the LA homebrewing map. So Cheers for Dale and make sure that when Dale’s Oyster Stout comes available on tap you go try one. 




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