The third Unhopped Iron Brewer Challenge was held at the Honors College on the UWM campus on Saturday February 1, 2020 from 5:00-7:30pm. Thanks are due to Honors College Director Pete Sands and Honors College Program Associate Anne Lamb, who made the space available for the event and provided valuable support. Thanks also to UWM Anthropology graduate students Christopher Allen, Alexis Jordan, Brian McConnell, and Emily Stanton, who volunteered to move furniture, check IDs and take photographs.
As in past years there was a varied flavor spectrum on tap, from two raw ales (one based on an archaeological find in Germany dated to the 5th century BC, the other a Scandinavian farmhouse sahti) to a medieval gruit, a yarrow-hyssop braggot and a Latvian-inspired kvass.
About 70-75 people attended the event, some of whom are in the brewing business themselves, as well as students, faculty and staff who are home brewers or are interested in expanding their knowledge and experience of beer in all its pre-hopped forms.
The People’s Choice Award (and a gift certificate generously donated by Northern Brewer) went to UWM undergraduate Anthony Spiegel for the second year in a row. The three judges (Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Beer Reporter), Jerry Janiszewski (Milwaukee Museum of Beer and Brewing/Old World Wisconsin) and Joe Yeado (owner/brewer Gathering Place Brewing) chose undergraduate Hannah Blija’s Latvian-style kvass as the winning entry. Hannah will get a chance to work with Joe Yeado and GP’s Corey Blodgett to produce a commercially accessible version of her kvass on their pilot system, which will be available at GP sometime later this year. Watch this space!