Denny and I were the coordinators for the Cascade Brewers Society's annual Iron Brewer Competition this year. The premise of the competition is loosely based on the Iron Chef television show. Brewing teams of two brewers were formed. The teams were told that they could bring a certain amount of base grain, hops and yeast. They were allowed to bring any amount of specialty grains. The day of the event, which was in August this year, the teams assembled and secret ingredients were reveled. The teams were required to use a minimum amount of the secret ingredient. This year the secret ingredient was breakfast cereal. There were four different types with the teams drawing numbers to determine which cereal they had to use.
The cereals were:
Coco Roos (Coco Puff)
Tutti Fruiti's (Fruit Loops)
Honeynut Scooters (Honeynut Cherrios)
Marshmallow Matties (Lucky Charms)
The teams had 5 hours to formulate a recipe and brew the beer. The judging for these beers was last weekend. A distinguished panel of judges was assembled to rate the beers to how well they used the secret ingredient. In addition to the beer, the teams were required to prepare a food dish that used the beer. This was also part of the judging.
The judges were Brian Perkey from Wyeast, Jeff Althouse founder of Oakshire Brewery and Matt Van Wyk formerly of Flossmoor Station, now head brewer at Oakshire.
Fourth place went to team Coco Roos. They made a brown ale. The food item that they paired with it was pears with a glaze of the beer. They also put a few of the Coco Roos in center of the pear.
There was a tie for second place. Team Tootie Fruiti made an Imperial IPA. For the food, they prepared was French Dip sandwiches which the meat was marinated in the beer and an a jus with onions caramelized in the beer.
Team Marshmallow Maties had a hard time with their cereal. They ended up making a Belgian Golden Strong with it. It did not turn out that bad, given what they had to work with. Their food was beef braised in the beer.
The winning team was team Honeynut Scooters. They made an amber ale with it. The food item was homemade hummus blended with the beer served with pita made from the spent grain.
During the party afterward, there was a peoples choice voting. The Imperial IPA from Team Tootie Fruiti won the peoples choice.
Pictures of the brewing portion can be seen here Iron Brewer Pictures
This is a fun event and I encourage clubs to try and do something like this.